Tag Archives: Paleo Diet

Paleo devotees are still waiting for mainstream nutritional science to recognize the demonstrated, profound anti-diabetic effects of their nutrient-dense, naturally low-carbohydrate diet.

Unfortunately, based on a recent meta-analysis by Professor Nita Forouhi et al [1] that surveyed diet-based diabetes therapies, they will have to wait a bit longer.

Researchers have once again sidestepped Ancestral living in favor of pills, surgery and crash dieting.

Part One of this series examined the study which showed a clear bias toward Western dietary norms, and concluded that weight loss is the best therapy for diabetesbased on bariatric surgery results.  

Forouhi et al explored other therapies that could challenge the mainstream, including low-carb diets, but declared them “controversial” or “difficult.” Instead, the study noted that bariatric surgery often normalizes blood glucose levels—and endorsed diets which mimic it including high-sugar liquid meal replacement “crash” diets.

Even worse, this idea has been taken to new extremes by a separate team of researchers, who are developing an oral medication intended to mimic bariatric surgery.

 

The surgery pill: eat your cake without having it

Published in the same month as the Forouhi study, a separate paper by Yuhan Lee et al [2] proposed going one step further—an oral medication that mimics bariatric surgery – for the same reasons: short term improvement in blood glucose markers.

The proposed “therapeutic luminal coating of the intestines” is being developed to “block glucose absorption” and also to deliver biologics and other medications to the lower intestine with less pre-digestion.

The authors claim their product “will emulate a critical part of bariatric surgery in a non-invasive way.”

As of this writing, the drug creates a transient paste that coats the intestines, blocking up to 43% of ingested glucose in the first hour, dropping to 25% after the third hour.  The paste takes three days to disperse.

Long-term side effects of its use are not explored in the paper.

 

Weight loss at any cost?

Healthy, sustainable improvements in body composition are certainly therapeutic for diabetes and many other ailments.  The benefits range from reduced inflammatory cytokines (secreted by excess adipose tissue) to simple relief on load-bearing joints.

However, surgery to promote weigh loss (or a “crash” low-calorie diet) are extreme steps—and not indicated, or sustainable, for most diabetics or healthy individuals.

These sudden, disruptive lifestyle changes (not to mention discomfort and possible surgical complications) should be a last resort—even if they produce short term results and temporarily improved blood glucose markers.

One follow-up study of bariatric surgical patients showed reasonable weight loss (77 percent after one year, dropping to 56 percent in five years) but diabetes remission was only 51 percent after one year, and 21 percent at five years. [3]

This short term success may justify surgery (and its risks) for the morbidly obese, but as Yuhan Lee et al point out in their paper on Therapeutic Luminal Coating of the Intestine, most diabetics are not surgical candidates to begin with.

Nor does the Lee paper examine diet. The focus is simply on inhibiting glucose uptake.

The issue is that surgery or ultra-low calorie diets (or intestinal paste) don’t address fundamental dietary issues.  Post-surgery dietary recommendations still include grains, cereals and processed foods (like “creamed soups”) [4]. Sugar is discouraged but not eliminated.  

As even new Paleo dieters realize, grains, sugars, seed oils and processed foods all contribute to inflammation, glucose insensitivity… and lead back to diabetes.

 

Surgery in a pill… is still a pill

While “coating the intestines to prevent glucose uptake” may have clinical applications, it also sidesteps the idea of healthy dietary changes.

Instead, it implies that we can eat whatever we like–and take yet another pill to protect us from our diet’s worst effects.

But how sustainable is reliance on medication to insulate us from lifelong, chronic intestinal permeability, systemic inflammation, and elevated blood glucose?

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea.

Dr. Fiona Godlee, is the editor-in-chief of The BMJ, an international medical online journal.  She addresses this issue in a penetrating article: Pills are not the answer to unhealthy lifestyles. [5]

Referencing the Forouhi study among others, she criticizes the multi-billion-dollar market for drugs aimed at lifestyle-based diseases like T2D, hypertension, and fatty liver disease.

Her conclusion:

…pills can’t be the answer to diseases caused by unhealthy living. As well as unsustainable cost for often marginal benefit, they always cause harm. Rather than medicating almost the entire adult population, let’s invest our precious resources in societal and lifestyle change, public health, and prevention. [Emphasis added.]

 

When unhealthy living is normal

Surgery. Unsustainable, non-satiating crash diets. Intestinal paste.

Temporary results.

These extreme, short term strategies all tiptoe around the idea that fundamental dietary change might workor at least be worth a try. They also highlight the deeply entrenched [6] nature of conventional dietary norms.

The Forouhi study acknowledges how hard it is for patients (or anyone) to adopt significant dietary changes. Elimination of unhealthy foods or food groups is dismaying or even threatening to many people.

Mainstream media often reinforces this perception.

Articles like The problems with elimination diets, by Paige Smathers, RD, [7] and Overwhelming thoughts about food can have a profound impact on overall health, by Devrie Pettit, RD.N [8] appear often. They make the case that “average dieters” can’t handle giving up certain foods—and shouldn’t be expected to do so.  

Both of these dietitians (and many others) claim the stress isn’t worth the health benefits.

But is it really that hard to stop eating unhealthy food?  

 

Paleo living: the common-sense alternative

Every Paleo dieter knows healthy dietary changes are possible—and well worth the effort. Thousands of Paleo converts permanently eliminate grains, sugars, dairy, seed oils, and processed foods every day.

They do all this without surgery or drugs—or the associated discomfort, lifestyle dislocation, and expense.  

They don’t panic over absent pasta.

Most don’t require medical supervision, except to reduce medications for ongoing ailments (like diabetes.)  Their nutrient-dense, highly satiating pre-agrarian diet is sustainable, enjoyable and promotes vibrant good health.

This writer (down 40 pounds) has been Paleo for almost three years, has had exactly one cold in that time, is no longer pre-diabetic, clinically obese or hypercholesterolemic…and will never go back.

 

REFERENCES

  1. “Dietary and nutritional approaches for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes,” 6/13/2018, published in The BMJ by professors Nita G. Forouhi, Anoop Misra, Viswanathan Mohan, Roy Taylor, and director William Yancy, retrieved here
  2. “Therapeutic Luminal Coating of the Intestine,” 6/11/2018, published in Nature Materials by  Yuhan Lee, Tara E. Deelman, Keyue Chen, Dawn S.Y. Lin, Ali Tavakkoli & Jeffrey M. Karp, retrieved here
  3. “Bariatric Surgery Patients See Weight Gain After ‘Honeymoon’ Period,” published on Healthline.com by Brian Krans, 8/5/2015, retrieved here
  4. “Gastric bypass diet: What to eat after the surgery,” published on MayoClinic.org by Mayo Clinic Staff, 9/21/2018, retrieved here
  5. “Pills are not the answer to unhealthy lifestyles,” published in The BMJ by Dr. Fiona Godlee, 7/12/2018, retrieved here
  6. “The reality of food addiction,” published on ThePaleoDiet.com by Casey Thaler, B.A, NASM-CPT, FNS, 7/24/2014, retrieved here
  7. “The problems with elimination diets,” published on KSL.com by Paige Smathers, RD, 7/18/2017, retrieved here
  8. “Overwhelming thoughts about food can have a profound impact on overall health,” published on KSL.com by Devrie Pettit, RDN, 9/11/2018, retrieved here  

After a day spent enjoying your active Paleo lifestyle, this soup has everything you need to relax and recharge.  Protein, veggies, and spices in perfect harmony, make this a favorite in our kitchen.

 

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon each freshly ground pepper, dried sage, and dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free tomato paste
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 (28-ounce) can salt-free diced tomatoes or 2 pounds fresh tomatoes
  • 1 quart salt-free Chicken Broth
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, diced or sliced, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

 

Instructions:

In medium sized bowl, thoroughly combine pork, pepper, sage, and rosemary and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, celery, and bell pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic, three-quarters of the seasoned pork, tomato paste, smoked paprika, and coriander. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until very fragrant. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of avocado oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining seasoned pork and cook for 5 minutes, or until crispy. Set aside to drain on paper towels. Taste the soup and add additional smoked paprika, and coriander to reach desired taste.  Add the shrimp and simmer until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the minced cilantro, and serve topped with the crispy pork, avocado, and chopped cilantro.

Serves 4.

Ketogenic diets are one of the hottest trends in wellness right now. This past year, I even wrote a keto cookbook. In fact, they have become so popular, that many variations of low carb diets are currently spearheading their way into the mainstream. While any focus on a healthier way of eating should be viewed as a positive, rather than a negative – the question remains: are carbohydrates really so bad? There is, of course – a complex scientific answer to this question.

First, we must look at the research. What does it say, what does it not say, and were the methods used to extract these conclusions properly conducted? Secondly – is there conclusive scientific evidence that the type of carbohydrates ingested, makes a difference? Third – is it possible that there is significant sensationalism around keto diets, which may tend to cloud the actual scientific data. Which in turn may be used to support their popularity? Lastly, is a Paleo Diet® actually worse for weight loss than a keto diet – or are there significant benefits to both approaches

To answer these questions, we must do a deep dive into the research of low carbohydrate diets. The newest study to gain widespread attention, focused only on 164 adults – not exactly a large enough sample pool, to say the least. While the media is quick to write attention grabbing headlines (i.e. “new study shows that low carb diets are better for weight loss”) the data rarely – if ever – supports these dramatic conclusions (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

This study is no different. While the results did show good outcomes for people following a low carbohydrate diet – the study did not come close to proving that all carbohydrate intake is bad. It also did not show that a diet filled with healthy carbohydrates cannot be just as good (if not better) for sustained weight loss. As has been shown in numerous scientific studies, higher carbohydrate diets consistently have better long-term success in terms of compliance (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20). In simpler terms, this means that those eating more carbohydrates have a much easier time adhering to a dietary protocol, over the course of years of eating.

This should not be shocking. While keto (and other low carb diets) do typically result in some short-term weight loss – this is sometimes just water weight. Secondly, almost without fail, people do eventually return to consuming carbohydrates (though sometimes it is in a diminished volume). Subsequently, they often do gain back the weight they may have lost (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30). Gary Taubes did an excellent job of analyzing and synthesizing nearly a century’s worth of research on this very topic, in his scientific tome Good Calories, Bad Calories.

A different study from earlier this year, showed that a low-carb diet and a low-fat diet both provided nearly identical results for dieters. This study followed 600 people over the course of a year and showed predictable results. The main takeaway from the sum of these studies is the conclusion that limiting sugar and eating high quality nutrient dense foods – a central tenant of The Paleo Diet – is the best strategy for long term weight loss (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40).

This means vegetables are the best foods to eat, along with high quality proteins, and anti-inflammatory fats. When it comes to a healthy diet (and especially fat loss) – the body’s delicate biochemistry and neurology must be prioritized. What foods provide the best hormonal response, along with limiting cravings and supporting brain health? Over and over again – the scientific research has pointed to the foods consumed when following a Paleo Diet (41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50).

Another interesting aspect of these studies – they have highly variable results. For example, in the aforementioned study – one person lost a miraculous 60 pounds – while another gained 20. This shows the genetic variability inherent in all populations. It also illustrates that one specific diet is never going to be the solution for the entire population (51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60).

Controlling leptin, ghrelin, blood sugar, and limiting consumption of empty calories – are all cornerstones of any healthy dietary approach. This is because scientific data has shown that these elements all quickly lead to rapid weight gain, if not properly controlled (61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70). One fascinating study even showed that by modulating actual dopamine receptors (in this case, specifically the D2 receptors) – binge eating could be almost completely eliminated. This links in with other fascinating studies, which show that processed foods (like cookies) – may be as psychologically rewarding as hard drugs, like cocaine. It may appear shocking at first, but once the underlying neuronal circuitry is understood, there is truthfully very little difference between how the brain responds to these over-powering stimuli (71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80).

So, is a high carb/low fat diet the holy grail to weight loss, or is the answer consuming no carbohydrates at all? As with most things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Moderate carbohydrate consumption (like the amount consumed in a healthy, properly implemented Paleo Diet) – seems to have the best long-term results (81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90). This is not to say that low carbohydrate diets do not have their benefits – they do. But as Dr. Cordain has rightly pointed out, there can also be significant issues that may arise in long term implementations of ketogenic diets (91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100).

In summary – neither approach is wrong, but carbohydrates (especially natural, low sugar forms) – are not bad. In fact, you will usually become very deficient in potassium, very quickly, if you do not consume at least some healthy carbohydrates. Of course, common sense wisdom like this (backed by strong science) – does not sell nearly as well as headlines like ‘lose 20 pounds quickly with the keto diet!’.

High quality protein, healthy fats, and low sugar carbohydrate consumption is really all you need to prioritize, to have a perfectly healthy diet. This is a simple, easy-to-remember paradigm, and it is applicable to anyone – no matter your age or gender. As always – don’t believe the hype. Carbohydrates won’t kill you, or absolutely cause you to gain weight. Sticking to whole, natural carbohydrates (which are low in sugar) is the best approach to a healthy diet. You can certainly experiment with a ketogenic diet, but it is not the only option for sustainable weight loss. For more reading on the fascinating topic of ketogenic diets, please read Dr. Cordain’s excellent piece.

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  79. Willett WC, Ludwig DS. Science souring on sugar. BMJ. 2013;346:e8077.
  80. Grant JE, Potenza MN, Weinstein A, Gorelick DA. Introduction to behavioral addictions. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2010;36(5):233-41.
  81. Lindeberg S, Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, et al. A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia. 2007;50(9):1795-807.
  82. Klonoff DC. The beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2009;3(6):1229-32.
  83. Kowalski LM, Bujko J. [Evaluation of biological and clinical potential of paleolithic diet]. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2012;63(1):9-15.
  84. Gotsis E, Anagnostis P, Mariolis A, Vlachou A, Katsiki N, Karagiannis A. Health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: an update of research over the last 5 years. Angiology. 2015;66(4):304-18.
  85. Tosti V, Bertozzi B, Fontana L. Health Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: Metabolic and Molecular Mechanisms. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018;73(3):318-326.
  86. Romagnolo DF, Selmin OI. Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutr Today. 2017;52(5):208-222.
  87. Widmer RJ, Flammer AJ, Lerman LO, Lerman A. The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Med. 2015;128(3):229-38.
  88. Ma Y, Olendzki B, Chiriboga D, et al. Association between dietary carbohydrates and body weight. Am J Epidemiol. 2005;161(4):359-67.
  89. Wal JS, Mcburney MI, Moellering N, Marth J, Dhurandhar NV. Moderate-carbohydrate low-fat versus low-carbohydrate high-fat meal replacements for weight loss. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2007;58(4):321-9.
  90. Sasakabe T, Haimoto H, Umegaki H, Wakai K. Association of decrease in carbohydrate intake with reduction in abdominal fat during 3-month moderate low-carbohydrate diet among non-obese Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. Metab Clin Exp. 2015;64(5):618-25.
  91. Reddy ST, Wang CY, Sakhaee K, Brinkley L, Pak CY. Effect of low-carbohydrate high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone-forming propensity, and calcium metabolism. Am J Kidney Dis. 2002;40(2):265-74.
  92. High protein diet brings risk of kidney stones. BMJ. 2002;325(7361):408.
  93. Macdonald HM, New SA, Fraser WD, Campbell MK, Reid DM. Low dietary potassium intakes and high dietary estimates of net endogenous acid production are associated with low bone mineral density in premenopausal women and increased markers of bone resorption in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):923-33.
  94. New SA, MacDonald HM, Campbell MK, Martin JC, Garton MJ, Robins SP, Reid DM. Lower estimates of net endogenous non-carbonic acid production are positively associated with indexes of bone health in premenopausal and perimenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jan;79(1):131-8
  95. Willi SM, Oexmann MJ, Wright NM, Collop NA, Key LL Jr. The effects of a high-protein, low-fat, ketogenic diet on adolescents with morbid obesity: body composition, blood chemistries, and sleep abnormalities. Pediatrics. 1998 Jan;101(1 Pt 1):61-7.
  96. Wynn E, Krieg MA, Lanham-New SA, Burckhardt P. Postgraduate Symposium: Positive influence of nutritional alkalinity on bone health. Proc Nutr Soc. 2010 Feb;69(1):166-73.
  97. Cicero AF1, Benelli M2, Brancaleoni M3, Dainelli G3, Merlini D3, Negri R3. Middle and long-term impact of a very low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet on cardiometabolic factors: A multi-center, cross-sectional, clinical study. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev. 2015 Dec;22(4):389-94.
  98. Clifton PM, Condo D, Keogh JB. Long term weight maintenance after advice to consume low carbohydrate, higher protein diets–a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Mar;24(3):224-35.
  99. Bielohuby M, Matsuura M, Herbach N, et al. Short-term exposure to low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets induces low bone mineral density and reduces bone formation in rats. J Bone Miner Res. 2010;25(2):275-84.
  100. Carol S Johnston, Sherrie L Tjonn, Pamela D Swan, Andrea White, Heather Hutchins, Barry Sears; Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 83, Issue 5, 1 May 2006, Pages 1055–1061, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/83.5.1055.

Ringing in 2019 has never tasted better, with these Paleo-friendly appetizers and drinks!

Amazing Apps


Blazing Buffalo Turkey Meatballs

These mini meatballs are sure to please! Paleo and gluten free, try pairing with a simple, low carb sriracha sauce. Beware store bought sriracha though — many brands include high fructose corn syrup lurking just beneath the ingredient label.

The Mix

  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3- 1/2 salt-free hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 egg

The Final Cut

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use a no-stick baking tray or cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
  • Blend ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined.
  • Scoop a tablespoon amount and roll into balls. Yields 20-24 meatballs.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes (longer for a crispier texture).
  • Add toothpicks and enjoy!

 

Dippin’ and Sippin’

No New Year’s spread is complete without a killer dip. This pork bellies and spinach dip with steamed artichokes is the perfect pairing.

In a large bowl, stir up:

  • 1 cup of aioli
  • 5 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 oz seasoned pork bellies chopped
  • Pair with steamed artichokes and serve generously

 

The Good Stuff

Power up for 2019 with these antioxidant rich stuffed mushrooms. Filled with sauteed kale and bursting with flavor. Take 5 mushrooms and fill ’em up with:

  • 2 green onions
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of Kale
  • 1-2 tbsp Coconut oil

Throw it all together:

  • Remove mushroom stems and finely chop stems and green onions.
  • On medium heat, add coconut oil, turmeric, garlic and green onions to frying pan. Saute mushrooms. Add in ground beef and spinach.
  • Heat ½ -1 tbs. coconut oil in a separate pan. Add kale.
  • Stuff mushroom caps with ground beef mixture and place on top of the bed of kale. Bake for 5 minutes at 250*.
  • Serve, share, and love!

 

Cheers to Good Health


Crazy Good Cranberry Mocktail

The perfect seasonal treat, this mix is as simple as it is delicious.

All you’ll need is:

  • 3 cups of fresh cranberries
  • Substitute 1.5 liters (6 cups) of seltzer water for vodka

Blend cranberries to a rough mixture and add seltzer water. Strain finely into a larger container. Drink up!

 

Jingle Bell Cocktail

This festive, non-alcoholic red and green cocktail is as healthy as it is delicious.

Simply blend:

  • Kale
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Pear
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Stevia
  • For a drunken twist, pair with white wine

 

Pumpkin Nice Latte

We’d be on the naughty list for sure if we didn’t include a paleo friendly PSL! While this treat is not strictly Paleo (maple syrup makes us all want to bend the rules), it is a Paleo-inspired alternative to a traditional latte.

There’s nothing basic about this blend:

  • 2 cups fresh roast coffee
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stay warm and energized with this delicious brew!

 

Merry Mojitos

This citrus rosemary mojito is one of our favorites.

Simply blend:

  • 2 tbsp of Stevia (substitute for honey)
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed grapefuit or orange juice
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Substitute 1.5 ounces of dry, white wine for rum or vodka
  • Club soda to taste
  • Garnish with grapefuit or orange slices

Toast to a healthier you!

Looking for more seasonal eats? Cozy up with a bowl of paleo-perfect butternut squash soup and let us know what your favorite winter recipe is!

This spring, Dr Cordain did an interview answering ten questions about the basics of The Paleo Diet®. To start your New Years out right, we wanted to share his answers with you. We hope you enjoy!
– The Paleo Diet Team

1. The Paleo diet can be traced to a 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin, but, correct me if I’m wrong, you are responsible for bringing this diet to popularity in your 2002 book “The Paleo Diet.” Can you me about your research journey as a professor and what lead you to writing this book?

I have written a blog post at my website (www.thepaleodiet.com) outlining the beginnings of the contemporary Paleo Diet movement and my involvement in it at the early stages before the concept became commonly known.

Although the 1975 book by Walter Voegtlin is frequently claimed by many in the Paleo community to be the seminal book that was the birth of the Paleo Diet idea, a number of important, and more relevant books were written earlier and later to which the Paleo Diet movement can be traced, including:

Books:

  1. Price WA. Nutrition and physical degeneration; a comparison of primitive and modern diets and their effects. P.B. Hoeber, Inc., New York, 1939.
  2. DeVries, A. Primitive Man and His Food. Chicago, Chandler Book Company, 1952.
  3. Eaton SB, Shostak M, Konner M. The Paleolithic Prescription. New York, Harper & Row, 1988.

Additionally, a number of key early scientific papers were responsible for today’s Paleo Diet notoriety, including:

Scientific papers:

  1. Shatin R. The transition from food-gathering to food-production in evolution and disease. Vitalstoffe Zivilisationskrankheitein 1967;12:104-107.
  2. Yudkin, J.  Archaeology and the nutritionist. In: The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals, PJ Ucko, GW Dimbleby (Eds.), Chicago, Aldine Publishing Co, 1969, pp. 547-552.
  3. Truswell AS. Human Nutritional Problems at Four Stages of Technical Development. Reprint. Queen Elizabeth College (University of London), Inaugural Lecture, May, 1972.
  4. Abrams, HL.  The relevance of Paleolithic diet in determining contemporary nutritional needs. J Applied Nutr 1979;31: 43-59.
  5. Eaton SB, Konner M. Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications. N Engl J Med 1985;312:283-9.

My book “The Paleo Diet” was published in 2002, and I may have coined the term “Paleo Diet”.  However, the concept is certainly not mine, but rather came as a result of numerous scientific writers before me.

2. How would you describe the Paleo Diet to a beginner?

The essence of the idea is to emulate the nutritional characteristics of our hunter gatherer ancestors with contemporary foods and food groups generally found in supermarkets, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.

3. For those unfamiliar with the Paleo Diet, where is the best place to begin?

I suggest visiting my website and read many of the beginner articles, including What To Eat on a Paleo Diet.

4. Some say the Paleo Diet as an ‘extreme’ high-protein, low-carb, fad diet. I know how I would respond to these people. But, I’d like to know how you would respond to these people?

My colleague Boyd Eaton, who generally is considered to be the father of the contemporary Paleo Diet movement, once said, “If this is a fad diet, then it is humanity’s oldest fad diet, because it is about 2 million years old.”

It is true that The Paleo Diet is a high protein diet compared to the standard American diet, but this is not a bad thing, as higher protein diets have been clinically shown to suppress hunger, increase metabolism and be more effective in reducing body weight than low fat, high carb diets. Additionally in randomized controlled human trials, higher protein improves blood lipids, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk for the metabolic syndrome.

5. There are several ‘versions’ of the Paleo Diet. This can be confusing. Which version of the Paleo Diet is the ‘right’ version?

Any contemporary version of The Paleo Diet which discourages salt consumption is probably pretty close to being accurate.  As far as I know, none of the charismatic bloggers or popular Paleo Diet Recipe book authors prohibit added salt. Many advocate regular consumption of honey, dairy, and legumes.  These “versions” of the Paleo Diet drift quite far from the original scientists who analyzed the nutritional characteristics of hunter gatherers and determined the range of foods that they consumed, and those in contemporary societies which mimic these foods.

6. What are the most significant health benefits that may occur with the Paleo Diet?

Improved health in almost every regard.  One of the first parameters people accustomed to eating the typical U.S. diet is improved energy levels throughout the day.  Improved blood lipids can occur with days to a week. Sleep is better, particularly when salt and alcohol are reduced. Over the long haul, weight is normalized, and many illness and disease symptoms are ameliorated or improved.

7. A lot of social media followers wanted me to ask you your thoughts on the ketogenic diet. I know this is a diet that has skyrocketed in popularity. As a research professor who I admire and respect, what are your thoughts on the Ketogenic Diet and the differences between the Paleo Diet and the Ketogenic Diet.

The ketogenic diet has been with us in one form or another since Dr. Atkins first wrote about it in 1972.  For most people to enter a ketogenic metabolic state, they must consistently eat 50 grams of carbohydrate a day.  This diet may be helpful in the short term for losing weight or for certain people with epilepsy. By restricting healthful fruits and vegetables, the primary source of carbohydrates in The Paleo Diet, your diet will become net acid producing, rather than net alkaline producing which promotes bone loss and osteoporosis over extended periods.

8. How can the Paleo diet affect your skin?

For people with acne, diets similar to the Paleo Diet (high protein, low glycemic load, free of dairy) have been clinically proven to improve symptoms.

9. How do you feel about elimination diets such as the Whole30?

I was not familiar with this diet until you mentioned it.  From a brief on-line search, I see that it looks remarkably similar to The Paleo Diet, so my initial response would be to be supportive.

10. More and more research is showing the negative effects of sugar. Some argue that sugar derived from fruit, ‘natural sugar,’ is processed by our bodies and affects us differently than refined sugar. Is this true? I feel that there is a lot of misinformation out there on this topic.

At my website, I have an area showing the sugar concentration of fresh fruits compared to refined sugar products.  As you can see, fresh fruits contain considerably less sugar than sweet, processed foods. Additionally, the glycemic (blood glucose) response to most fruits is generally quite low.   Very obese or diabetic subjects should reduce consumption of high sugar fruits but shouldn’t restrict low sugar fruits.

 

By living a Paleo lifestyle, you have taken control of your mind, your body, and your health. The next component of a healthy lifestyle, and one that goes hand-in-hand with The Paleo Diet©, is physical activity. And while many of us have concrete exercise regimens that we adhere to religiously, there are scores of people who, at this point in their lives, don’t have the time to spare.

And that’s okay!

On The Paleo Diet, there are plenty of ways to incorporate activity into your day. While hitting the gym or the studio is a wonderfully effective form of exercise, there are other methods to move your body that will be just as effective, but more convenient for those of us who are crunched for time. What’s more is that even if you are a regular fitness buff, these practices can be worked into your daily routine to ramp up your activity levels even outside of the gym. Here are three easy ways to stay fit while maintaining your Paleo lifestyle that don’t involve hitting up the gym.

 

Just Walk It.

We’ve all heard this tip before, but it bears repeating. Park a little further away and walk to your destination. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Any chance you get to take a few steps in your day is going to help boost your fitness levels. For those who don’t have the time for daily runs or cardio machines, pedometers are an excellent way to log mileage without devoting a specific block of time to exercise. While it’s recommended that you aim to get about 10,000 steps in each day, this figure is mostly presented to introduce a challenge, as there is currently no scientific evidence to support this magic number’s efficacy. It’s just a good challenging goal for most of us. And once you’ve met this challenge, try to top it! How many steps can you take in a day? In a week? In a month? How many miles can you walk this year?

 

Just Carry It.

That’s right. Carry it. Your toddler, the watermelon at the farmer’s market, the latest shipment from your favorite online store… if it’s safe for you to lift, pick it up properly and carry it for awhile. While, as a busy parent, you may not have time to lift weights, you certainly have time to pick up your young children while walking from your car to the grocery store entrance. New mom? Into attachment parenting? Even better! Who needs the gym…you’re basically lifting all day long! Did someone at work forget to refill the copy machine again? Volunteer to get a box of printer paper and carry it to the copier. Maybe add a few squats for good measure. You’ll work your body and get points with the boss. Is your buddy moving this weekend? Help him out! (Just insist he skips the beer and pizza and takes you for a Paleo-friendly dinner in return!) The idea is to look for opportunities to lift things in your everyday life. While lifting weights is great, you may not have the time to spare. By looking for opportunities to lift things in your day-to-day existence, you are effortlessly adding activity to your Paleo lifestyle.

 

Just Move It.

Salsa dancing lessons on Monday with your partner? A Tuesday night concert with friends? An impromptu living room dance party with your kids on a Wednesday morning? It doesn’t matter how you move, just move it! There are plenty of active things you can do each day that are not your garden-variety forms of exercise. As long as you’re working up a light sweat, you’re incorporating meaningful activity into your day and you can feel good about it. So get your heart rate up, have fun and find enjoyable ways to move that fit within your daily lifestyle. (And, since you’re already on the boss’ good side for refilling the copy machine, why not join the workplace softball team and get even more bonus points and bonus exercise?)

 

When you’re living a Paleo lifestyle, you’ve already made a huge commitment to your health and well-being. Try taking it to the next level by incorporating some activity into your day. You don’t have to join a gym. You don’t have to wake up daily at 5 am to stream a fitness class. You don’t even have to carve out time exclusively devoted to fitness. Our paleolithic ancestors never joined the gym or followed dedicated workout regimens; the physical activity occurring in their everyday lives was enough to keep them fit. So, like they did, shun some modern conveniences and get active naturally. Just carry it, walk it and move it and marvel as the results accumulate.

Walking around the supermarket, it does not take long to notice that there is a “low fat” or “fat-free” alternative near almost every available option. When you are starting a new diet, it may be tempting to purchase these items. After all, you are trying to lose fat, so it would make sense to eat less of it, right?

While that reasoning may seem to make sense, it is actually unsupported by the evidence. There is scientific evidence that eating a high-fat diet can contribute to weight loss, as seen by researchers at Harvard. Additional studies have been conducted in recent years that add even more fuel to the fat-burning fire. So, where did all the hatred of fat come from?

The “Fat Is Bad” Myth

Way back in the 1970s, America was facing a wake-up call. Members of Congress came together to rally against high-fat diets, largely due to the fact that their colleagues were prematurely dying of heart attacks. The science of that day and age pointed to saturated fats as a primary cause of heart disease. These facts were backed up by Nathan Pritikin, a health whiz who advocated that heart disease could be reversed, as long as people were willing to change their lifestyles.

However, back then we did not have the thorough understanding of biological processes that we do today. Many people heard that fat was bad and subsequently attempted to remove it from their diets entirely. One of the goals Congress set out was for people to eat more carbs. What they intended was for people to eat complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, the reality was starkly different.

The market responded to these calls to reduce fat by creating new lines of fat-free or low-fat products. Fat provides a lot of flavor in the foods we eat. When you remove fats, you have to replace it with something else, and that replacement came in the form of sugar. Many believe that this fat-reducing phase of the American diet largely contributed to rising levels of obesity and diabetes. It turns out that removing fat from your diet can cause weight gain, doesn’t significantly reduce your chances of heart disease, and will not help you lose weight.  

Why Fat Is Good for Your Body

The truth is, there are several kinds of fat: trans fats, saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Trans fats are bad for your body, and along with saturated fats were the ones that Congress really meant for us to reduce. Foods that contain trans fats increase harmful blood cholesterol levels (LDLs) while decreasing the good blood cholesterols (HDLs). Today, we realize there is no safe level of consumption of trans fats — for every 2% of your diet that is made up of this type of fat, your chances of heart disease increase by 23%.

Saturated fats are another type of fat that should be eliminated. Experts recommend that less than 10% of your daily calories come from saturated fat sources. In large doses, saturated fats can increase LDLs. However, there is no conclusive evidence at this time suggesting that saturated fats cause heart disease.

However, there are studies that show replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can reduce your risk of heart disease. The unsaturated fats are the “good for you” guys of the fat world. These fats are liquid at room temperature, unlike their counterparts. These fats raise triglyceride levels while lowering LDL levels. Your body uses these fats as a source of fuel, so they are important to incorporate into your diet.

Incorporating Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

Healthy fats can help you lose weight, among other important health benefits. Instead of avoiding all fats, you should focus on how you can incorporate healthy fats from natural sources into your diet. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can come from natural sources.

Oils and nuts are generally good sources of monounsaturated fats. Healthy oils like olive oil are good sources of monounsaturated fats as well as nuts and avocados. As an added benefit, incorporating healthy oils into your diet will help you feel full and satisfied at the end of a meal. As a result, you eat less and weight begins to fall off.

Good sources of polyunsaturated fats include the heart healthy omega-3 and omega-6 oils found in seafood, nuts, and some oils. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6. These fats are essential to our bodies, yet we cannot make them. We need them in order to function, to create cell membranes, to move our muscles, and to combat inflammation.

The Paleo Diet® is a natural diet that incorporates healthy fats. This diet focuses on natural, unprocessed foods that promote overall wellness. Research has shown that low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets like the Paleo diet can speed up weight loss, reduce chronic inflammation, and ultimately lead to you feeling better in general. For more information about the Paleo diet and how it could help you, visit us today. Be sure to check out our Paleo recipes for easy ways to incorporate healthy fats into your diet!

 

Science is a constantly changing and evolving field. That’s why we live in a world of “theories” and avoid the term “fact.” After all, even Newton’s LAW of gravity was disproved.

So, it’s exciting when a discovery is made that updates or challenges our theories. And lately the media has been abuzz because that’s exactly what a team led by Dr Amaia Arranz-Otaegui did with our understanding of bread. Analyzing food remains in a 14,000 year-old fire pit left by Natufian hunter-gatherers northeast of Jordan, Arranz-Otaegui’s team found charred remains of bread-like food. [1] Before this discovery, it was believed that bread entered the human diet with the invention of agriculture in the Neolithic era approximately 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. [2] This new discovery shows that humans were eating bread at least 4,000 years before that.

Analysis of the 24 bread-like food particles indicated it was a flat bread (due to smaller air pockets.) The particles were composed of einkorn wheat (a wild wheat), barley, club-rush tubers and possibly rye, millets or oat. It was clear the grains had been de-husked, crushed, milled, and sieved repeatedly. In short, the bread had required extensive production by these ancient bakers.

 

Is This a Game-Changer?

Many in the media have been saying this discovery is evidence that bread can now be added to the Paleo Diet because it shows that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were also bakers. That’s a game-changer if it’s true. But before we start making major changes to the Paleo Diet website, let’s dig a little deeper into this discovery.

First, let’s point out the obvious. The 14,000-year-old bread was from the Epipaleolithic Time. A period that marks the tail end of the Paleolithic era (which started 2.5 million years ago) and preceded the Neolithic era. As the name implies, some consider the Epi-Paleolithic era a transition period after the true Paleolithic era ended about 20,000 years ago. [3]

So technically, the discovery may not even be Paleo. But let’s assume for a minute that Dr Arranz-Oteagui’s team didn’t find the very first bread ever made and perhaps bread production pre-dates this discovery by another 4-6,000 years – before the end of the Paleolithic era.

When Loren Cordain, Boyd Eaton and other originators of the Paleo Diet started developing the concept, they talked more about a “natural ancestral human diet based on evolutionary trends.”

Needless to say, Dr Cordain’s publishers didn’t find that very catchy. “Paleo” sounded better and fit well because most of the evolutionary changes that defined our natural diet occurred over the 2.5 million years of the Palaeolithic era. But the name and particular period were less important than when these key evolutionary changes occurred. Meaning, whether bread consumption technically overlapped with the Paleolithic era is irrelevant. What’s important is the potential evolutionary impact. And while this is still a debated point, it appears that anatomically and behaviourally modern humans appeared between 200,000 and 40,000 years ago.[3]

In other words, from an evolutionary perspective, the difference between eating bread 9,000 years ago vs even 20,000 to 25,000 years ago is a rounding error. There are many things that are exciting about the discovery of 14,000-year-old bread, but not for an evolutionary biologist.

 

Was Bread Even a Staple 14,000 Years Ago?

If you told your doctor you ate pizza and hamburgers every night but had some broccoli last Wednesday, I’m sorry to tell you that your doctor isn’t going to note that you “eat a healthy vegetable-based diet.”

The question remains, what were the primary foods in the Natufians’ diet?

Hunter-gatherers constantly faced the dangers of caloric deficits – not consuming as many calories as they expended. Put another way, they had to avoid foods that required more calories to collect and prepare than they provided, a concept known as optimal foraging theory. [4, 5] As a result, Arranz-Otaegui points out that because of the significant production cost of the bread, it was likely a “special food” reserved for occasions like impressing guests. Evidenced by the fact that of the 60,000 plant-based food particles found in the fire pit, only a few hundred were from bread-like foods.

The Natufians, according to Arranz-Otaegui’s team, ate game meat (bones of gazelles, sheep and hares were found throughout the fire pit) and “small-seeded grasses, fruit and nuts. and root foods.”

All of this led her to conclude:

The available archaeobotanical evidence for the Natufian period indicates that cereal exploitation was not common during this time, and it is most likely that cereal-based meals like bread become staples only when agriculture was firmly established.

 

What Was Game-Changing About this Discovery?

14,000-year-old bread would have had no impact on our evolution or our definition of a true ancestral diet – especially when you consider it was not a staple in hunter-gatherers’ diets. But that doesn’t mean this wasn’t an important discovery.

What is ground-breaking about this discovery is that it flips a commonly held belief on its head –that agriculture was invented first and then humans figured out baking. This study supports the notion that bread pre-dates agriculture. But that notion does make some intuitive sense. It’s highly unlikely our ancestors would not have undertaken the process of domesticating wheat if that had not first experimented with the end-product.

 

References

1. Arranz-Otaegui, A., et al., Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2018. 115(31): p. 7925-7930.

2. Popova, T., Bread remains in archaeological contexts, in Southeast Europe and Anatolia in Prehistory Essays in Honor of Vassil Nikolov on His 65th Anniversary, G.R. Bacvarov K, Editor. p. 519-526.

3. Eaton, S.B., M. Konner, and M. Shostak, Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med, 1988. 84(4): p. 739-49.

4. Cordain, L., The Paleo diet : lose weight and get healthy by eating the foods you were designed to eat. Rev. ed. 2011, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. xv, 266 p.

5. Pyke, G.H., Optimal foraging theory – a critical review. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 1984. 15: p. 523-575.

 

How does a poke bowl sound right about now?  

Let’s start with what it is, exactly: Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as a main course (1).

When out and about, it can be tough to find viable options that will fit into your authentic paleo regime, so when something does come across our radar, it’s easy to jump right in.

But before you pick up your chopsticks, it’s worth taking the time to consider a few key factors.

In this case of the poke bowl, let’s call them the three “S’s”

Sourcing
Where exactly is the tuna coming from? In the US, we’re spoiled these days; we can purchase organic blueberries from Chile in the middle of winter and grass-fed lamb from New Zealand. Sure, “organic” and “grass-fed” are two descriptors we want to strive for, but to ignore from where they came would be remiss. Similarly, unless you happen to be physically located somewhere that wild tuna actually swims, not considering the carbon footprint of eating tuna is irresponsible. In addition, even if you are in Hawaii or Fiji, be mindful not to overdo the consumption of this big fish; putting oneself at risk for mercury contamination is serious business (2).

Soy
An authentic preparation of the sauce used to prepare poke includes soy sauce. Don’t make the mistake of thinking gluten-free soy sauce is a viable alternative. Even Tamari contains soy and soy is one of the most inflammatory food byproducts we can eat (3).

Starch
The other key ingredient in a poke bowl is rice.  Despite it being a gluten-free grain, it’s still a grain and as such, still inflammatory, contributing to leaky gut.

So does this all mean that the idea of eating a poke bowl must become ancient history??

Not by a long shot!

With a few tweaks, you can easily create your own version and not just at home, but even when dining out.

Here’s how:

  1. Determine the sourcing and find creative alternatives.   While wild salmon would not be as authentic in terms of mimicking the original version of a poke bowl, if you’re in Oregon and it’s coho season, keeping it local best serves everyone- the fish, the planet and us!
  2. Peruse the menu, or the market for alternatives to the traditional bowl of rice. Any leafy green, finely shredded and tossed with olive oil and lime then tossed with avocado chucks makes for a deliciously savory bed for fresh, sashimi grade fish.
  3. Last but not least, the big question: H  how can you call it a poke bowl if there’s no poke sauce? Easy!  Skip the soy sauce and focus on flavors made from healthier options commonly found in island cuisine:  sesame, ginger and even Chinese 5-spice.


Not convinced?

See for yourself: test out my simple recipe for DIY Poke Bowl recipe that is, geared toward what you have in your very own backyard.

INGREDIENTS

  •    1 pound wild, local, sashimi grade fish (check MSC for your best options)
  •    1 bunch collard greens
  •    1 bunch kale
  •    Freshly squeezed lime juice
  •    2 Tablespoons olive oil
  •    Sesame oil to taste
  •    2 tsp sesame seeds
  •    2 sheets Nori

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Dice fish into 1/2” cubes
  2. Wash collards and kale and roll sideways to form a roll
  3. Thinly slice to create ribbon shape
  4. Place in large, flat bowl
  5. Combine lime juice and olive oil with sesame oil
  6. Reserve half and pour other half over leaves
  7. Combine diced fish with remaining half
  8. Portion into four plates
  9. Garnish with sesame seeds and torn piece of Nori
  10.  Serve immediately


Thyroid health boosting tip:  adding some seaweed into your repertoire is the best way to incorporate dietary iodine.   Why does this matter? In order to keep our thyroid healthy, we need to balance out the sulfur we get from all the crucifers and we achieve this by adding in iodine, from sea veggies, the #1 best choice!

References

(1)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poke_(fish_salad)

(2)  http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mercury-and-health

(3)  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3727642/

 

Our Paleolithic ancestors had to sprint to survive; to fend off predators or to hunt their prey. The “fight or flight” response (and thus sprinting) is one of our most primal survival mechanisms. It’s hardwired into our DNA. Today, we’ve unfortunately outsourced most of our daily movement to cars, trains, and escalators, and we remain sedentary most of the day. Our bodies adapted to this frequent high-intensity fight or flight response and may very well have learned to need it. Today, most people simply don’t get enough movement in their day and it comes at a steep cost for your health.

Over 400 million people around the world suffer from type-2 diabetes (T2D) and almost 50% of the current population in America is classified as pre-diabetic or diabetic [1,2].  While the standard American diet – calorie-dense, nutrient-poor, hyper-palatable processed foods – is an overwhelming culprit, physical inactivity also has a key role [3]. A recent 10-year follow-up study of intensive lifestyle modifications – which included regular exercise – lowered the incidence of diabetes (type-2) by 34% in highrisk adults, which was twice as effective as the standard metformin drug therapy [4 ].

Movement is an integral part of a Paleo lifestyle. If moderate intensity exercise supports improved blood sugar control, how would high-intensity movements like sprinting impact glycemic control? Children spend their days running around the house or playing games, yet as we get older we lose connection with this fundamental primal movement.

Can sprinting help to reverse type-2 diabetes? Interestingly, a growing body of research has investigated the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on T2D. (Note – Sprinting falls under the banner of HIIT training, as do sprints on a bike, Tabata-style workouts, etc.)

 

HIIT & Diabetes (Type-2)

The term high-intensity can scare people off, but the good news is that it’s relative to your own fitness level. For example, a recent study examined the effects of HIIT training (10 sets @60s x3 weekly) over eight weeks in 50-year old, non-active type-2 diabetics versus healthy controls. Researchers found the diabetic group significantly improved glucose control and insulin sensitivity, as well as pancreatic beta-cell function, and experienced significant loses in pro-inflammatory abdominal adiposity [5]. Post-menopausal women with T2D engaging in two sessions per week over 16 weeks (with no concomitant caloric reduction) experienced more significant reductions in belly-fat compared to traditional steady-state cardio [6]. Even just two weeks of HIIT training showed positive health benefits for people with T2D and improvements in insulin resistance from pre- to post-training period [7].

A recent meta-analysis of over 50 studies found a superior reduction in insulin resistance following HIIT compared to both control and steady-state training. Although it should be noted that continuous aerobic training is still highly effective at reducing insulin resistance. It has demonstrated results that are comparable to HIIT. It just requires a much greater time commitment. Another meta-analysis concluded… “exercise at higher intensity may offer superior fitness benefits and… optimize reductions in HbA1C% (a 3-month average of blood sugar control)” [8,9,10].

 

HIIT & Diabetes (Type-2) Risk Factors

Type-2 diabetics are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The first study that was able to demonstrate improvements in cardiac structure and function, along with the greatest reduction in liver fat. It used HIIT training (2-3-minute intervals x5 over 12 weeks). The authors concluded,HIIT should be considered by clinical care teams as a therapy to improve cardiometabolic risk in patients with type 2 diabetes” [11].

 

HIIT & Time Efficiency

It looks like HIIT training may provide an effective strategy for reversing T2D, but the question remains; how do you get people to stick with it? Most people know exercise is good for them, but they decide (often subconsciously) not to engage in it.

Why? The number one reason is people say they “don’t have time.” No problem, HIIT training provides the perfect solution.

Dr. Martin Gibala PhD, a world-renown expert in HIIT from McMaster University in Canada, recently compared the benefits of 3 minutes of exercise per week (yes… 3 minutes for the entire week!) versus the traditional recommendations of 150 minutes per week of exercise on fitness. His research team found that the HIIT group improved their fitness to the same degree as the continuous aerobic group after the 12-week intervention [12]. Looks like time is no longer an excuse (everyone has 3 minutes per week).

Sprinting is a fundamental primal movement. It’s deeply ingrained in our DNA, performed effortlessly when we’re children and the research supports its use (i.e HIIT) as an effective strategy for helping to reverse T2D symptoms and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. HIIT is time efficient, highly rewarding and best of all… it’s fun!

 

References

1. Retrieved from – //www.who.int/diabetes/global-report/en/
2. Menke A et al. Prevalence of and Trends in Diabetes Among Adults in the United States, 1988-2012. JAMA. 2015;314(10):1021-1029.
3. Woolf K et al. Physical activity is associated with risk factors for chronic disease across adult women’s life cycle. J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Jun; 108(6):948-59.
4. Knowler et al. 10-year follow-up of diabetes incidence and weight loss in the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study. Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Lancet. 2009 Nov 14; 374(9702):1677-86.
5. Madsen S et al. High Intensity Interval Training Improves Glycaemic Control and Pancreatic β Cell Function of Type 2 Diabetes Patients. PLoS One. 2015 Aug 10;10(8):e0133286.
6. Maillard F et al. High-intensity interval training reduces abdominal fat mass in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Metab. 2016 Dec;42(6):433-441.
7. Shaban N et al. The effects of a 2 week modified high intensity interval training program on the homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in adults with type 2 diabetes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Apr;54(2):203-9.
8. Jelleyman C et al. The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2015 Nov;16(11):942-61.
9. Grace A et al. Clinical outcomes and glycaemic responses to different aerobic exercise training intensities in type II diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
10. Jung M et al. High-intensity interval training as an efficacious alternative to moderate-intensity continuous training for adults with prediabetes. J Diabetes Res. 2015;2015:191595.
11. Cassidy, S et al. High intensity intermittent exercise improves cardiac structure and function and reduces liver fat in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial. Diabetologia 2016; 59(1): 56–66.
12. Gillen J et al. Twelve Weeks of Sprint Interval Training Improves Indices of Cardiometabolic Health Similar to Traditional Endurance Training despite a Five-Fold Lower Exercise Volume and Time Commitment. PlosONE April 26, 2016

 

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