Many of you who take serious exercise believe in “Carb Loading”. But please step back for a moment. How did our ancestors who ran down prey – who used their bodies all day do all of this without carbs – for they did not have them? They used our primal fuel – fat.
Glucose is not the preferred fuel of muscle cells under normal human resting metabolic conditions or even under most normal human movement patterns (exercise). Fat is. Sure, given an unlimited supply of glucose and regular refilling of glycogen stores, skeletal muscle will burn through it during exercise the same way a fire burns through kindling when that’s all you have to offer. The body can shift carbohydrate oxidation to keep up with intake. But skeletal muscle can burn fat with great efficiency (and far less oxidative fallout) at relatively high outputs for very long bouts. Cardiac muscle actually prefers ketones, and the brain can run just fine (maybe even optimally) on a blend of ketones and minimal glucose. Our survival as a species has depended on these evolutionary adaptations away from glucose dependency. Entire civilizations have existed for ages on what is practically a zero-carb diet. Think about this: there is actually no requirement for any “essential dietary carbohydrates” in human nutrition. It’s possible to live a very long and healthy life never consuming much – if any – in the way of carbs, provided you get adequate dietary protein and fat. The same can’t be said for going too long without protein or fat. Cut too far back on either of those macronutrients and you will eventually get sick and die.
There is no doubt that good oral health extends to our entire body and system. It’s no surprise that if you buy a horse you should look at the teeth as an indicator. But is brushing your teeth with toothpaste the best you can do?
Most toothpaste today contains fluoride. There is a lot of doubt about it safety – especially for the young. Toothpaste also tends to contain novel chemicals for sweetening and also for foaming. I cannot assure you or myself about their safety either. There is no doubt though that much of what is in toothpaste is questionable.
So what to do – bearing in mind that good oral hygiene is very important?
There are 3 things that I do now. Firstly I have gone back to a Paleo diet that on its own has changed the environment in my mouth. I have gone upstream to reduce the risks before I brush with anything. With almost no sugar and its equivalent – simple carbs I have reduced the core risk factors in my mouth anyway. I have massively reduced the bacteria food!
But I still eat some carbs and so what do I use as toothpaste?
4 parts of baking soda and 1 part salt. This both oxidizes the mouth and shifts it to being alkaline. I mix it myself and it costs me next to nothing. I also floss twice a day and scrape my tongue.
The key ph number is 5.5. At that level, acid eats into our teeth. You want to get above that. (link)
Acidity is measured in “pH“. For this experiment, the pH measurements we’re monitoring fall between 1 and 7. If something has a pH of 1, it’s a strong acid. A pH 1 acid is similar to the stomach acids your body uses to digest that tasty cookie. Moving up the scale, we get less acidic: Lemon juice has a pH of 2. Human saliva has a pH of 7. In terms of your teeth, a pH of 5.5 and above will cause little or no harm. Any pH below 5.5 is bad. At 5.5 and below, a liquid will work to strip the protective enamel from your teeth. You’ve heard the term “tooth decay”? That’s exactly what we’re talking about here – acidic drinks will cause your teeth to literally decay.(link)
I think that the best cure is to not drink much juice and other high acid drinks.
Once a month I rinse and gargle with a 50% mix of water and hydrogen peroxide (more here).
Low acid and high oxygen is what I am aiming for – this is also cheap!
So what to avoid drinking if you can – or what to look out for.
Okay, so some sugar isn’t really bad for you but some sugar, like fructose in high amounts, is unhealthy. Since fructose is plentiful in many processed foods, how can you eat better and still enjoy the sweet things you like? What follows are some suggestions. Some require a bit of sacrifice and will be difficult—but more effective—and others are easy enough for anyone to incorporate in his or her diet. If you want to try and curb your sugar intake, be reasonable about what you can accomplish. Failure is a lot more likely if you try to pack in large amounts of change at once . When you cut back on anything slowly, it feels much easier and is more likely to stick.
Great post – good luck in your challenge!
Most of our health statistics still focus on mortality. This is a left over of the time when infectious disease was what concerned us the most. Infection kills quickly. It was the correct focus to have when this was the battleground.
But today infection has largely been pushed into the corner and we face instead long term chronic illness that takes years to kill but that can and does disable us – making it impossible to work or even look after ourselves. On PEI the average man becomes disabled by 65 and lives for 9.6 years in this state. This is where the real costs are to be found. Costs to each of us as we are unable to earn or cope with daily life. And costs to us as a society – for medicine can only keep us ticking over.
This group do die at the latest in their 70’s. Leaving another group the Very Old who have been fit and active all their lives. Why is another question for later. But this group too reach a stage when they too become disabled and this is where the costs and the burden mount. For their families and for the state. Until now there have been so few of these that we could afford to shelter them in institutions. But with so many that will live well into their 90’s in the pipeline – we will not be able to afford this.
Ironically, the worst thing we can do for people like this is to institutionalize them. Their health collapses when they have all control and role taken away. But as I am finding with my own mother, medicine can keep us ticking over for decades.
CIBC and VAC have worked for over 15 years on reducing the load on their medical systems.
Together they offer a useful model for how any population might look at its own load issues. Load being defined here as the impact of those people that become disabled by illness and live a long time. For the most important cost drivers in any health system are not mortality or morbidity but disability. It is disability and not acute illness that drives the costs. Once we understand this term, many options open up for us to reduce costs and increase care.
The total population contains two Disability risk segments. The “Young” aged up 65 and the “Very Old” aged 75 – 110.
The Young increasingly develop chronic illness such as Type 2 Diabetes. This segment becomes progressively more ill until they are disabled and require both ongoing treatment and social support sometimes for decades. We call these diseases, the Diseases of Modern Civilization
Diabetes drives many other conditions including cardiovascular disease. On PEI adults in 2006 with diabetes had to be hospitalized much more often than those without it. 16 times more often for lower limb amputations. 6 times more often with kidney disease. They had 5 times more heart attacks. 4 times more heart failure. 3 times more strokes. They stayed 3 times longer in hospital. Had 2 times more visits to physicians and 2 times more to specialists
Most diabetics don’t just take one medication, but several. A typical regimen for an adult diabetic after a couple of years of treatment and following the dietary advice of the American Diabetes Association includes Metformin, Januvia, and Actos, a triple-drug treatment that costs around $420 per month. Two forms of insulin (slow- and fast-acting), along with two or three oral medications, is not at all uncommon
The real societal problem is not that we die of these diseases but that we that suffer from them. All or concerns in the past have been mortality. But with this large and growing group of people, the issue becomes not mortality but care.
Diet is at the core of this epidemic. Most of the information related to diet today is at least misleading or even wrong. A new understanding of our evolutionary past shows that grains, the core of the recommended diet, are in fact the pathway to insulin resistance and so to this family of diseases.
Social Status and Managerial Culture then act as an amplifier on vulnerable people. Those in organizations with the least amount of control will have a mortality rate 4 times greater than executives with more control and status.
The breakthrough then in costs and care are that diet and issues of managerial culture can be positively affected by social intervention.
The issue of control and social status is the vector for Load in the very old as well. Social Intervention works best here as well.
The “Very Old” aged from 75 – 110. This group has usually avoided the chronic illness and has remained well and independent until they become too frail to live on their own. But if they are institutionalized, they tend to lose their health and then can also live for many years.
Currently we just treat these groups medically. CIBC and VAC treat them socially to great effect. They can prevent, reverse and mediate the illness. I will offer up 2 case studies to show you how.
How do you take Marmot’s information about how social status affects our health and use it to make a positive difference in the workplace? This is how you can.
When I left CIBC, one of Canada’s largest banks, 17 years ago the most prescribed drug in the plan was Prozac – an anti depressant. The bulk of the staff were women in clerical roles – at the bottom of the hierarchy with the least amount of control. Why were they so depressed and what did this mean? Our healthcare costs were exploding. The plan cost $200 million then and our projections showed that it would cost $500 million in ten years. Why was this? After all working at the bank did not expose workers to a risky or dangerous workplace.
What Dr David Brown and our team discovered was that everything that Dr Marmot had predicted The bank’s highly bureaucratic culture – very top down and controlling towards those at the bottom such as the fron line female staff – was creating waves of debilitating disability. You see this in any organization where the work is tightly controlled – why teachers are now so stressed. The social stress in the workplace was driving the incidence of disability. (BTW do you see the link back to the family too? – lack of “Voice” and too much control set up social stress and so too much cortisol)
Until then, we, at CIBC, like everyone else had treated this resulting illness by using the medical system. We had intervened to great the symptoms of the illness and disability. We found the key stressor that drive the cortisol and then the breakdown in health and the incidence of disability.
For David Brown’s historic achievement was to look upstream from the disability itself and look at the social and cultural drivers that caused it. In short, it was stress – social stress caused by the overall culture and made worse by some managers in particular – that set the staff up to become ill. David’s great work was to find ways of identifying the hotspots early and intervening socially to mediate the cultural tension. The results have been amazing.
My sense is that this model can be replicated in any health system. Here below the fold is what we did.
Source Dr Mary Vernon
Conventional wisdom is that we should eat 300 grams of carbs a day. But the science shows that if we eat more than 30 we will put the insulin resistance process into motion. Dr Vernon puts new patients on 20 grams a day. So how much is 30 grams of carbs and what do our regular food and beverages contain. This link takes you to a full list.
Here are some interesting highlights. Check out things like flour and sugar
I gave this short talk in a meeting at home on PEI about local food. The format is unusual. Each speaker has 20 slides and 6 minutes – which is why I go so fast – but I think as a format it works. It forces the speaker to be concise.
The future will depend not only on what we eat but how we get our food. It was our overshooting as hunters that forced us into agriculture. Our overshooting as farmers using oil is also threatening all life now on the planet. Is there another way? I think so – I think we now know enough to work with nature and I will expand on this over the next months. But in this short video you will see where I will be going.
No one I have found so far explains how our metabolism works better than Dr Vernon – a GP who could not help any of her diabetic patients get well by following the “rules”. Who then became an expert in the metabolism and a leader in the bariatric field. Who now as a matter of routine and WITHOUT drugs – helps her patients (the most at risk) get well. The issue is “fuel” and how each food type is used by our metabolism.
She is disarming, self deprecating, funny and expert all in one. She has worked all of this out in the trenches of looking after people like you and me. She is not selling anything either. She wants you to be well. Here is a link to her key lecture – by starting the first video – the player loads the next 5 seamlessly. If you look below – all the slides are there too.
Here is part 1
It is not only us humans who have been put on a corn and processed food diet but of course our pets. Our lab cross bitch is very fat and has a large lipoma – non cancerous fatty tumours. We tried all the “normal” routes – including very expensive vet sold diet kibble. Silly me! As my own body changed as I ate diet that was suited to my evolution, we continued to feed her kibble. It was easy, she liked it and it was cheap. We fed her less and she became ever more hungry – just like a human on a diet. She could not get the weight off and the lipoma grew and grew. She is getting to the pointwhere we may have to think of surgery – but she is old now and will have to endure a general anesthetic.
Then the lightbulb went off. Again silly me!
She is fat and she has lipoma BECAUSE she is eating kibble. We now feed her real food that we cook for her. It takes a little more time but not much. The pounds are falling away – she has so much more energy and we will see how the lipoma does. We have been doing this only for a week.
Some breeds of dog – labs are one and females are more prone to weight gain and lipoma. This may be true of humans too.
Cats of course should never eat grains – they are “Obligate Carnivores” who are also desert animals who are designed to get most of their water from their food. So feeding your cat kibble may be very bad for it. Here is an excellent resource for cats and their food.
If we can see this issue in pets – then can we see it for ourselves?
The new diet and our new way of life created the diseases of civilization as this extract shows. Living close together and with domesticated animals + the new diet was the set up – as it is today. For flu and viruses and pandemics still have their origin in this mix. And our new industrial diet is at the heart of the global chronic illness that is replacing infection.
Many schools have replaced pop with juice in their vending machines. Many parents encourage their kids to drink juice. After all juice is the healthier choice. But sadly it is not.
Fruit juice has as much sugar as most soft drinks. Worse the “sugar” in juice is Fructose and we can only absorb about 25 grams of Fructose. The rest goes to the liver to be converted into fat and also creates many other problems.
It appears we can absorb, at any one time, up to 25 grams of fructose. Now what is 25 grams? A glass of orange juice has up to 14 grams of fructose, a can of Coke sometimes has 15 to 16 grams of fructose, so you have a rough idea of how much 25 grams is. If you exceed that amount at any one time, individuals with limited fructose absorptive capacity can not absorb this substance and can get symptoms.
What are the symptoms of fructose intolerance?
The usual symptoms are bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, constipation–indigestion and sometimes excessive belching. These are common symptoms that a number of patients with this condition describe. (Source)
It is best that we avoid juice altogther. Here also is a useful table that shows us how much fructose is in fruit itself. Again keep the 25 grams threshold in mind:
Source Richard Johnson
Many might say “We have always eaten fruit!”. True but remember the conditions under which we ate it. Wild fruit is not sweet compared to modern fruit. Ever had a wild apple? Almost inedible. Apples were all converted to cider for thousands of years. We would have also had to compete with all the birds and insects. I almost never get more than a few cherries off my tree even today.
Fruit would have been hard work and transitory. Without a global food system it still would be. No oranges in Canada and no bananas. People my age still remember getting an orange in their stocking – it was such a treat back in the day.
So what do you drink when you are not drinking alcohol? We drank alcohol from the beginning as it enabled us to keep the fruit and also eat fruit that we could not eat on its own because it was too bitter (The apple again) Why not water? Why do our kids have to drink sugar?
Dr Li’s research shows us a key aspect of cancer and the then fat – blood supply. That there are drugs now that work to reduce specific parts of the blood supply that feed cancer. No Blood Supply, Cancer cannot grow.
But then – much more interesting and in line with our philosophy here shows us that we can do better than treat better – we can Eat to Starve Cancer and by the wayt Obesity – for Fat too demands a blood supply. What foods work best?
The bottom line is that with the right diet you can reduce your chances enormously of ever getting cancer. And of course of getting and staying fat – that opens us up to Type 2 Diabetes and all the other Diseases of Modern Life.
Dr Li shows us what to eat that works best – Here Michael reminds us on the ONE thing you must not eat – Sugars in all their forms – for they feed the cancers and create the fat. … Continue Reading
Every day a new headline – This is bad for you – then it is good for you. This diet – that diet.
So how can we make sense of the “science”? This video by Tom Naughton has helped me a lot. It is also very funny and worth the 45 minutes. But you will also get the gist of it in the first 10 if you are short of time. Naughton’s video channel is packed with well made films that get the heart of the confusion today.
This image shows a shift in lifespan. Back in the day living in the city such as New York was bad for your health and lifespan. Today people in New York live linger and healthier lives. Why?
This article suggests that once the crime issues had been addressed in the 1990’s, that it was the basic design of the city that has made the difference. Above all people are more active in New York – they don’t drive everywhere – mainly they walk. So we see the activity issue in play again – for in rural areas, we all get into the car for any reason. New York has 2 out of the 3 areas of Evolutionary Fit all there by design. Rural areas have none of them. You have to work hard in the rural areas to find this fit – odd isn’t it. Here are the details..
The new reality was that living in the suburbs and the country was the killer. In January 2005, Vlahov and his colleagues penned a manifesto they cleverly called “The Urban Health ‘Advantage,’ ” and published it in the Journal of Urban Health. Cities, they posited, were now the healthiest places of all, because their environment conferred subtle advantages—and guided its citizens, often quite unconsciously, to adopt healthier behaviors.
Three years ago, Lawrence Frank, a professor of urban planning at the University of British Columbia, set out to measure this effect, examining 10,858 people in Atlanta and the type of neighborhood they lived in. Some were in purely residential suburban neighborhoods, where you had to get in your car to buy a carton of milk; others lived in “mixed” downtown areas with shops within walking distance. When he checked the results, the health difference was shockingly large: A white man who lived in a more urban, mixed-use area was fully ten pounds lighter than a demographically identical guy who lived in a sprawling suburb.
“The more you drive, the more you weigh,” Frank tells me after I call him to talk about it. He was unsurprised when I described New York’s increases in life expectancy. “You put people in an environment where public transportation is rational and driving is almost impossible, and it would be shocking not to see this outcome,” he says. Other scientists suggest that New York’s benefits do not occur merely because the city is walkable. It’s also because New York is old and filled with attractive architecture and interesting street scenes—since, as it turns out, aesthetically pretty places lure people out of their homes and cars. A 2002 study by the National Institutes of Health found that people living in buildings built before 1973 were significantly more likely to walk one-mile distances than those living in areas with newer architecture—because their environments were less architecturally ugly.
At the same time, New Yorkers are also more likely to visit parks than people who live in sprawl, because the parks are closer at hand. And proximity matters, as a study by Deborah Cohen, a senior natural scientist at the rand Corporation, discovered. When she examined the use of several parks in Los Angeles, she found that almost half the people using any given park lived no more than a quarter-mile away. In contrast, only 13 percent of the people using the park had come from more than a mile away. “The farther you are, the less willing you are to go to the park,” she notes.
Interestingly, urban theorists believe it is not just the tightly packed nature of the city but also its social and economic density that has life-giving properties. When you’re jammed, sardinelike, up against your neighbors, it’s not hard to find a community of people who support you—friends or ethnic peers—and this strongly correlates with better health and a longer life. Then there are economies of scale: A big city has bigger hospitals that can afford better equipment—the future of medicine arrives here first. We also tend to enjoy healthier food options, since demanding foodies (vegetarians and the like) are aggregated in one place, making it a mecca for farm-fresh produce and top-quality fish, chicken, and beef. There’s also a richer cultural scene than in a small town, which helps keep people out and about and thus mentally stimulated.
Here is a link to a pdf by David Vlahov on the “Urban Health Advantage that inspired this article and this further research.
So we see here the full irony – a big city like New York offers us at least 2 out the the 3 major areas of “Fit”
So if you then eat real food – you have the trifecta! And a place like New York offers better food too – like a magnet..
We also tend to enjoy healthier food options, since demanding foodies (vegetarians and the like) are aggregated in one place, making it a mecca for farm-fresh produce and top-quality fish, chicken, and beef.
Please see the other videos in this series here
Tom Naughton is a genius communicator
Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.
Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.
But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.
We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?
We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.
We have lost our fit with our true nature.
This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.
So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.
This chart shows the shift in the nature of disability in America since the early 1960’s. What is hows is that the stress of how we live is crushing millions of people. The images in this post come from an excellent article here. Back pain is strongly linked to …
It is clear now that a child’s gut flora drives many allergies – including eczema – Here is a short and illuminating article on this that joins the growing literature on the importance of gut health generally and how, in infants, gut health drives lifetime health. This is yet one …
A fat tummy is a sign of visceral fat which is the #1 predictor of heart disease. We have posted about this before here. But here are some charts that help us see the range. It’s not just men either. More here on Mercola’s site: