Tag Archives: athletes

Curb Your Hunger | The Paleo Diet

It can be challenging at first to curb the carbohydrate cravings and hunger that arises when you are adjusting to a Paleo lifestyle, especially during the holiday season. By following the tips below, you can successfully ward off hunger that some people experience when transitioning to The Paleo Diet.

Breakfast

As the old saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of day.” This statement is especially true for people leading a Paleo lifestyle. The high-paced life of the average American frequently leaves little time for preparing a hearty breakfast first thing in the morning. Allocate an extra 30 minutes of your morning to cook a breakfast that will boost your energy levels for the entire day.

Scrambling vegetables, cage-free omega-3 eggs, and uncured pasture raised bacon or sausage is a quick and hearty meal that will provide adequate nutrients to keep you fueled throughout the day. If you’re getting tired of bacon and eggs for breakfast consider having salmon with avocado and fresh berries to get your day started on the right foot!

Order The Paleo Diet Cookbook for a collection of breakfast alternatives.

Up Your Protein and Fat Intake

Carbohydrates are digested quickly in our bodies. Excessive carbohydrate consumption often results in a surge of glucose levels throughout the blood stream and an eventual post-carb “crash.” Fat and protein are digested at much slower rates.

Protein consumption also promotes the formation of the peptide PYY, which is known to reduce hunger and aid in weight loss. If you come down with hunger pangs around lunch time, consider adding extra grilled chicken to your garden salad, or a couple of hard boiled eggs to up your your protein and fat intake.

Snacking on nuts in moderation throughout the day will also help to up your consumption of healthy fats.

Carbohydrates for Athletes

If you regularly engage in aerobic and or anaerobic activities you may feel fatigue from inadequate carbohydrate intake. Grains, sugar, and white potatoes are not recommended on The Paleo Diet, but there are plenty of other fruit and vegetable carbohydrate sources that can boost your athletic performance by restoring your muscle glycogen levels.

Sweet potatoes are commonly recommended by many experts within the Paleo community because they slowly release carbohydrates into your body, thus preventing any significant alterations in blood glucose levels. Recent studies show that fruit smoothies also are rich carbohydrate sources that have little adverse effects upon our blood sugar levels. Turnips, parsnips, squash and zucchini also are great options to include in post workout meals. Bananas are inexpensive and high in potassium and carbohydrate. For a quick and easy pre-workout or post-workout snack consider bringing a couple ripe bananas to the gym.

Learn more about the best approach for athletes to adopt the Paleo lifestyle in The Paleo Diet for Athletes.

Kyle Cordain
The Paleo Diet Team

Fruit Smoothies | The Paleo Diet

Most of the fruit and vegetable juices in the U.S. diet are consumed as commercially processed juices. Your orange, apple, grape, tomato, grapefruit, and pineapple juices are not made fresh and frequently contain added sugar, salt, stabilizers and preservatives. Typically, fiber, vitamins, minerals and certain phytochemicals are removed or destroyed during commercial processing. You’re left with these liquid concoctions which often maintain nutritional characteristics similar to sugared soda beverages, “liquid candy,” which increasingly are recognized to promote obesity, type 2 diabetes and diseases of insulin resistance. So, for most of you there is really nothing new here.

A recent report surfaced on the internet suggesting that fruit smoothies are also not much better than commercially processed juices and soft drinks. Fortunately, the best science available today indicates otherwise. While commercial pure fruit and vegetable juices have been available for decades, it has only been in recent years that fruit and vegetable smoothies or mixtures of both have appeared in supermarket and health food stores.

Most commercially available fruit smoothie servings typically contain at least 80 grams of whole, crushed fruit, plus one portion (150 ml) of juice, or often contain in excess of 80 grams of whole crushed fruit with the balance as juice.1 A 250 ml fruit smoothie serving contains 30 grams of total sugars, which is not significantly different than eating a comparable serving of the fruits themselves.1 Further, fruit smoothies make potentially important contributions to daily intakes of fiber, vitamin C and total antioxidant capacity (ORAC).1 Unlike pure juices, smoothies often contain a variety of fruit and vegetable mixtures with numerous phytochemicals and antioxidants in high concentrations that contribute to ORAC.12 A recent study demonstrated that the addition of a daily fruit smoothie containing 22.5 grams of blueberries improved insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin resistant participants.3 Meaning that even overweight or obese subjects, by including ample amounts of blueberries in the concoction of their smoothies, should enjoy a few smoothies during the week. Active, non-overweight people and athletes should enjoy these delicious treats whenever they like .

In The Paleo Diet Cookbook, my co-authors and I offer a variety of recipes for homemade fruit smoothies. In many of these recipes we recommend adding powdered egg white, a rich source of the branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine), which are indispensable to athletes and other active people because these nutrients promote rapid recovery from exercise via their anabolic muscle building effects. Further, the addition of a concentrated protein source like egg white powder to the natural sugars found in fruit smoothies, reduces the glycemic load of the smoothie and helps to minimize spike in blood glucose and insulin levels. Enjoy these delicious fruit and vegetable concoctions, they will help you obtain a healthy Paleo diet balanced by plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

REFERENCES

1. Ruxton, C. H. S. (2008), Smoothies: one portion or two?. Nutrition Bulletin, 33: 129–132.

2. Ruxton CH, Gardner EJ, Walker D. Can pure fruit and vegetable juices protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease too? A review of the evidence. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2006 May-Jun;57(3-4):249-72.

3. Stull AJ, Cash KC, Johnson WD, Champagne CM, Cefalu WT. Bioactives in blueberries improve insulin sensitivity in obese, insulin-resistant men and women. J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1764-8. Epub 2010 Aug 19

Contradictions in The Paleo Diet for Athletes | The Paleo Diet

Hi Dr. Cordain,

I recently read your book The Paleo Diet for Athletes (I lift weights about 5-8hr/week). I really enjoyed the book. I noted on page 110 you say “Our experience, supported by the scientific evidence, leads us to believe that, as an athlete, you will benefit from C and E supplements as well.”

Yet in this interview (//sportsnutritioninsider.insidefitnessmag.com/2442/sni-interviews-dr-loren-cordain-author-of-the-paleo-diet)
you say “If fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines etc.) arent consumed regularly (3-5 times per week), then I recommend taking fish oil. I also recommend taking at least 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D per day if regular sunlight exposure is not possible. All other supplements are unnecessary because the Paleo Diet is so nutrient dense. In fact, large meta analyses (multiple population studies) show that antioxidant supplements can be harmful and actually increase overall mortality.”

(1) So I’m a little confused. I’m assuming it’s the increased free radicals/oxidative stress from regular intense exercise that give people who partake in regular intense exercise an increased demand, but the statement from the interview seems all encompassing. I noticed the interview is dated 2011, but your book was out in 2005. Has your opinion on the use of antioxidant supplements changed in recent years?

(2) In table 9.2 of your book you list canned fish, even sardines and salmon as a food to avoid, but in the interview you specifically mention sardines. Fresh sardines are not commonly available, I’m wondering what it is specifically about canned salmon and sardines that makes it worth avoiding? I just find them to be a highly convenient source of protein and good fats and make compliance for the diet easier.

(3) Also if you don’t mind, I’d really appreciate your take on oxidative stress caused by omega-3/fish oil supplementation and countering with taking Vit. E with your fish oil dose.

Fish oil supplements increase requirements for Vitamin E
LONDON, ENGLAND. A recent experiment carried out at King’s College in London showed that daily intake of fish oil supplement reduces the plasma concentration of vitamin E to below normal range. Nine healthy male subjects were given a daily fish oil supplement containing 2.1 g docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 0.8 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) for a six week period. The proportion of DHA and EPA in the blood increased during the trial while the concentration of very-low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol and triacylglycerol decreased. Blood pressure fell slightly during treatment, but rose again once the fish oil supplementation was discontinued. Of particular interest was the finding that alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) concentration in the blood fell from 20 micromol/l to about 10 micromol/l during the experiment. This raises the question whether fish oil supplementation increases the need for antioxidant supplementation.
Sanders, T.A.B. and Hinds, Allison. The influence of a fish oil high in docosahexaenoic acid on plasma lipoprotein and vitamin E concentrations and haemostatic function in healthy male volunteers. British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 68, July 1992, pp. 163-73

I know you’re busy. So I really appreciate any time you take to respond to this e-mail.

Thanks,
Sincerely

E. Ryan

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Hi Ryan,

Good to hear from you.  Joe Friel (my co-author of the Paleo Diet for Athletes) have recently revised our book and the revision will hit the bookstores in the Fall.  We have modified some important points in the book and can no longer support the use of any antioxidants by athletes.  If you want to find out why before the release of our revised book, I have touched upon this topic as well in my new book, The Paleo Answer.  So, indeed, I have changed my perspective in this area based upon new comprehensive meta analyses that weren’t available in 2005.

All canned fish and meat contain high concentrations of oxidized cholesterol which in animal models accelerate the atherosclerotic (artery clogging) process.  Additionally, as I have pointed out in my first book, the vitamin content of canned meats and fish is significantly lower than either fresh meat or fish. Hence, it is always preferable to eat fresh meat and fish whenever possible.

Not consuming long chain omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from either fatty fish or fish oil represents a much greater risk to overall heath than the slight reductions produced in vitamin E status.  Most meta analyses of either fish or fish oil consumption shows that long chain omega 3 fatty acid reduce overall mortality (death) from all causes and morbidity (disease incidence) from a wide variety of diseases that impact most of the western world.

Cordially,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

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