Tag Archives: sugar

The End of the Low-Fat Era? | The Paleo Diet

The year was 1977. The US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, led by Senator George McGovern, issued the first Dietary Goals for Americans, thereby marking the beginning of the low-fat era of dietary nutrition, arguably the most misguided period of government-led nutrition ever. After 38 years, however, the low-fat era might officially end later this year.

The Dietary Goals evolved into the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) and Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans, later represented as the Food Pyramid and, currently, as MyPlate. The Guidelines’ dominant theme has been that calories consumed should equal calories expended. And since fat has 9 calories per gram, compared to only 4 for both carbohydrates and protein, fat became typecast as the “bad guy” nutrient.

Furthermore, since saturated fat and dietary cholesterol have been thought to promote cardiovascular disease, the Guidelines have recommended restricting fat to less than 30% (revised to 35% in 2005) of total calories. Consequently, carbohydrates, particularly refined carbohydrates and added sugars, came to replace healthy fats in Americans’ diets.

USDA and HHS update the Guidelines once every five years and the next revision is forthcoming later this year. Historically, the Guidelines echo the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) report, written by appointed scientists who systematically review the scientific literature on nutrition. The current DGAC report, published earlier this year, features two monumental deviations from the current Guidelines.

First, as we previously reported, the DGAC no longer considers dietary cholesterol to be a “nutrient of concern.”1 Previously, they recommended limiting cholesterol to 300 mg/day, but now acknowledge, “available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.”

Second, the DGAC recommends removing upper limits on total fat consumption with respect to total calories. “In low fat diets,” they write, “fats are often replaced with refined carbohydrates and this is of particular concern because such diets are generally associated with dyslipidemia.”2 Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates), they conclude, “does not lower cardiovascular disease risk.”

So what does all this mean? If USDA and HHS follow the DGAC’s recommendations, the low-fat era will finally end and, going forward, Americans will have more scientifically accurate information about fat and will likely embrace healthful, fatty foods more readily.

CALLING ALL NUTRITION ADVOCATES

The DGAC recommendations are clear, but in making their final decision, the USDA and HHS also consider comments from the public, academics, advocacy groups, and industry. As such, two prominent scientists, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, recently penned an article for the Journal of the American Medical Association in which they strongly endorsed lifting the total fat limits.3

Their article follows-up on a similar article they co-authored in 2010 about the previous Dietary Guidelines update. In their 2010 article, they recommended moving away from a nutrient-metrics approach, whereby specific nutrient targets are defined, and toward an approach emphasizing specific, healthy foods. They noted that the proportion of total energy from fat “appears largely unrelated to risk of , cancer, diabetes, or obesity” and that saturated fat “has little relation to heart disease within most prevailing dietary patterns.”4

We recently caught up with Dr. Mozaffarian to ask him about this extremely important story.

Q: What are your impressions about the progress made since your 2010 article with Dr. Ludwig? Are we moving in the right direction?

A: The 2015 DGAC report has made great strides in the right direction, with its major new focus on healthful, food-based, diet patterns. Now we must wait to see what the USDA and HHS do with this information in the final Guidelines—boldly move toward this modern evidence, or sit back and return to old conventions.

Assuming the USDA drops its limits on total fat consumption, how impactful do you think this could be?

This could have tremendous positive impact, especially if mirrored in other national policies e.g. food labeling, school lunch, feeding programs, and so on. Consumers and companies would be unshackled to allow focus on increasing healthy foods, including those higher in fat, and on reducing refined grains and sugars.

Would you care to comment on the Paleo diet from a nutritional perspective?

The main benefits of Paleo are recognizing the harms of refined grains, starches, and sugars, which dominate the food supply; and the (potential) focus on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish. But, if ‘Paleo’ leads one to high-meat diets, few benefits will be gained.

Dr. Mozaffarian makes a valid point. One of the largest misconceptions surrounding Paleo diets and lifestyles is that it promotes high-meat consumption without balance from other food groups. Dr. Cordain among the many other thought leaders in the scientific and lay communities continue to debunk this misconception. A real Paleo diet is a high-vegetable diet with moderate amounts of animal protein, including lean meat and fish high in omega-3, plus animal and vegetable sources of fat.

In our interview with Dr. Mozaffarian, he also noted that some vegetable oils “are extremely healthy, but are shunned by many Paleo aficionados.” While we respectfully disagree about the health impact of high-omega-6 vegetable oils, we strongly agree that proportional upper limits on total fat must be removed from the US Dietary Guidelines.

For nearly four decades, the US government has promoted high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets. Incidentally, a recent systematic review of the randomized controlled trials available to McGovern’s Committee back in 1977 determined there was no scientific basis for their restrictions on fat.[5] In other words, the low-fat era never should have happened. And with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines update, it should finally end.

 

REFERENCES

[1]

[2] Ibid, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

[3]

[4]

[5]

Grapefruits: The Best Boost for Your Arteries | The Paleo Diet

INTRODUCTION: HERE IS A GRAPEFRUIT

If you are a devout follower of Paleo, then you know that we encourage eating fruits such as grapefruit. In addition to being low in calories, it is also a great source of vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, vitamin B5, and vitamin B9.1 Furthermore grapefruit is packed with fiber, and phytonutrients like lycopene, limonoids and flavanones.2

Over the years, many scientific studies have shown the great health benefits, including decreasing cancerous growth3, and possibly being as effective in treating diabetes type II as metformin.4 An exceptional study just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provides great evidence regarding the benefits of grapefruit consumption on vascular function in postmenopausal women and decreasing the risk of arterial stiffness.5 In simpler terms, how drinking grapefruits can boost the arteries, and decrease the risk of developing such as a myocardial infarction/heart attack, or a stroke.

OVERVIEW OF STUDY

Researchers recruited 48 healthy postmenopausal women who were between three to 10 years post menopause. These women were randomly assigned to drink 340 mL of grapefruit juice a day containing 210 mg naringenin glycosides (flavanones), or a matched control drink without flavanones for 6 months each. Then there was a two month washout period between beverages, before the participants were crossed over into the other group.

The most important end-point was the measurement of endothelial function in the brachial artery by means of flow-mediated dilation. Additionally, blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and endothelial function in the peripheral arterial bed were assessed as signs of vascular function. These measurements and blood collection for clinical biochemical markers were carried out in overnight-fasted subjects, pre and post the six month treatment periods.

The results showed a significant decrease in the carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) after the consumption of grapefruit juice, at 7.36 m/s. On the other hand, it was 7.70 m/s after consumption of the matched control drink without flavanones. This PWV is seen as the gold standard for evaluating central arterial stiffness, and has a strong correlation with the development of the risk of cardiovascular disease6. The scientists estimate that the PWV reduction of -0.524 m/s is similar to about an absolute 5% risk reduction in cardiovascular disease.

WHAT ARE FLAVANONES?

Many people may be unaware of flavanones. These are compounds that are a subclass of flavonoids, and seen mainly in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits.7 While an orange has the highest amounts of flavanones at 48 mg/100 g aglycones,8 a grapefruit has a total flavanone content (summed means) of 27 mg/100 g9. Lemons contain an overall flavanone content of 26 mg aglycones/100 g edible fruit or juice, while limes have 17 mg aglycones/100 g edible fruit or juice.10 Epidemiological studies showed and demonstrated the many benefits of flavanones including its anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering properties.11 A previous study demonstrated the possibility of flavanones decreasing the risk of ischemic stroke in women by 17%.12

Well you may be wondering since oranges have a greater content of flavanones, would it not be easier to just drink up some orange juice instead? Well as we have always advocated, commercial juices frequently contain excess sugar, and while you may benefit from the decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, it would be unwise to do so at the expense of diabetes.

ARTERIAL STIFFNESS

As one ages, the aorta stiffens, a process that may be hastened by arterial hypertension.13 It results in a condition known as arteriosclerosis.14 So, if you have high blood pressure, you really should be eating your grapefruits and oranges. Arterial stiffness describes the decreased ability of the artery to swell up and contract as a result of any pressure changes.15 In addition, multiple studies have also shown the predictive significance of arterial stiffness (AS) in a range of populations as an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and all-cause mortality.16

CONCLUSION

In closing, this recent study suggests that the consumption of grapefruit juice by middle aged post-menopausal women is beneficial for arterial stiffness. Given the earlier statement about the possibility of increased sugar in juices, my suggestion instead would be to eat grapefruit whole instead, as we recommend with other fruit and vegetables when following a Paleo diet. Moreover, careful chewing has been shown to stimulate the release of 2 intestinal peptides which decrease appetite and food intake.17 This indicates more benefits for you to actually eat a grapefruit, instead of drinking the juice.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108408

[2] Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108408

[3] Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108408

[4] Chudnovskiy R, Thompson A, Tharp K, Hellerstein M, Napoli JL, Stahl A (2014) Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice. PLoS ONE 9(10): e108408. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108408

[5] Habauzit V, Verny MA, Milenkovic D, Barber-Chamoux N, Mazur A, Dubray C, Morand C.Flavanones protect from arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women consuming grapefruit juice for 6 mo: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):66-74. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.104646

[6] Cavalcante JL, Lima JC, Redheuil A, Al-Mallah MH. Aortic Stiffness: Current Understanding and Future Directions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(14):1511-1522. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.12.017.

[7] Peterson, J., Beecher, G., Bhagwat, S., Dwyer, J., Gebhardt, S., Haytowitz, D., & Holden, J. (2006). Flavanones in grapefruit, lemons, and limes: A compilation and review of the data from the analytical literature. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, S74–S80.

[8] Peterson, J., Beecher, G., Bhagwat, S., Dwyer, J., Gebhardt, S., Haytowitz, D., & Holden, J. (2006). Flavanones in grapefruit, lemons, and limes: A compilation and review of the data from the analytical literature. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, S74–S80.

[9] Peterson, J., Beecher, G., Bhagwat, S., Dwyer, J., Gebhardt, S., Haytowitz, D., & Holden, J. (2006). Flavanones in grapefruit, lemons, and limes: A compilation and review of the data from the analytical literature. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, S74–S80.

[10] Peterson, J., Beecher, G., Bhagwat, S., Dwyer, J., Gebhardt, S., Haytowitz, D., & Holden, J. (2006). Flavanones in grapefruit, lemons, and limes: A compilation and review of the data from the analytical literature. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, S74–S80.

[11] Peterson, J., Beecher, G., Bhagwat, S., Dwyer, J., Gebhardt, S., Haytowitz, D., & Holden, J. (2006). Flavanones in grapefruit, lemons, and limes: A compilation and review of the data from the analytical literature. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 19, S74–S80.

[12] Cassidy, A., Rimm, E., O’Reilly, E., Logroscino, G., Kay, C., Chiuve, S., & Rexrode, K. (2012). Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women. Stroke, 43, 946-951. doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.637835

[13] Cavalcante JL, Lima JC, Redheuil A, Al-Mallah MH. Aortic Stiffness: Current Understanding and Future Directions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(14):1511-1522. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.12.017.

[14] Cavalcante JL, Lima JC, Redheuil A, Al-Mallah MH. Aortic Stiffness: Current Understanding and Future Directions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(14):1511-1522. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.12.017.

[15] Cavalcante JL, Lima JC, Redheuil A, Al-Mallah MH. Aortic Stiffness: Current Understanding and Future Directions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(14):1511-1522. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.12.017.

[16] Cavalcante JL, Lima JC, Redheuil A, Al-Mallah MH. Aortic Stiffness: Current Understanding and Future Directions. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(14):1511-1522. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.12.017.

[17] Keller, D. (2011, September 13). Thorough Chewing Raises Hormones Regulating Food Intake. Retrieved July 9, 2015, from Medscape: //www.medscape.com/viewarticle/749504

Not So (Artifically) Sweet | The Paleo Diet

I have had countless clients try to replace their sugar-laden diets with ones rich with artificial sweeteners. While this may work in the short term, it definitely does not work in the long term.1 2 And, the reasons for this are countless.3,

New research shows sugars specifically activate six neurosecretory cells in the brain, which produce Dh44, a homolog of the mammalian corticotropin-releasing hormone.4, 5 Artificial sweeteners do not activate these same cells – possibly leaving the brain in a half-finished reward state – potentially leading to more calories being taken in.6, 7

Not So (Artificially) Sweet | The Paleo Diet

Yang, Qing. “Gain Weight by ‘going Diet?’ Artificial Sweeteners and the Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings: Neuroscience 2010.” The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 83.2 (2010): 101–108. Print.

Another issue with artificial sweeteners is they are typically much, much sweeter than sugar. Just how much sweeter are these manmade creations? Most artificial sweeteners are 200-400 times sweeter than regular table sugar!8 Many researchers argue this leaves the brain expecting a plethora of calories, and also disrupts the brain’s natural reward mechanisms.9

While followers of the Paleo diet will certainly know that artificial sweeteners have no place in a healthy lifestyle, many who are trying to change their eating habits rely on artificial sweeteners for brief time periods. Not a great idea. As the scientific literature suggests, artificial sweeteners (because they are sweet) encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence.10

Even stevia, which many will argue is a healthier alternative to most artificial sweeteners, is 100-300 times sweeter than table sugar!11 It is certainly not a good idea to be consuming something that sweet on a regular basis – whether it contains sugar or not. Furthermore, artificial sweeteners are typically packaged in foods or drinks that have a laundry list of other negative substances and artificial ingredients.12

Salient scientific studies clearly show how in repeatedly exposing ourselves to sugar, we help to train our flavor preference. In short – the more sweet we eat, the more we crave and expect it. Many studies have shown lowering fat and/or salt intake, over several weeks, leads to less craving of these elements. This is exactly how you should treat sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Not So (Artificallyy) Sweet | The Paleo Diet

Sclafani, Anthony. “Sweet Taste Signaling in the Gut.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104.38 (2007): 14887–14888. PMC. Web. 7 July 2015.

On a granular level, T1R2 and T1R3 sweet taste receptors are found in taste cells in the mouth and enteroendocrine cells in the gut.13 Stimulation of the T1R2 and T1R3 receptors in the mouth by sugars and artificial sweeteners activates intracellular signaling elements, which trigger peripheral taste nerves and brain gustatory pathways. This is one way in which artificial sweeteners actually have a similar effect to sugar – which is not a good thing.

Moreover, research shows substituting sucrose-sweetened drinks for diet drinks does not reduce total energy intake – and may even result in a higher intake during the following day.14 Artificial sweeteners are not the answer.

Even back in 1986, researchers concluded that the data do not support the hypothesis that long-term artificial sweetener use either helps weight loss or prevents weight gain.15

Not So (Artifically) Sweet | The Paleo Diet

Fernstrom, John D. et al. “Mechanisms for Sweetness.” The Journal of Nutrition 142.6 (2012): 1134S–1141S. PMC. Web. 7 July 2015.

So why are artificial sweeteners still used? Well, quite simply: money and industry.

Artificial sweeteners are beneficial to the food industry for a variety of reasons. One – they are cheap, and can help make poor quality foods taste ‘better’. Two – it makes it seem like they care. They sell you the sugar-laden stuff, and then – if you are ‘health conscious’ – you can buy their artificially sweetened product instead. Either way – they win.

I may be preaching to the converted here on The Paleo Diet, but often times even the most disciplined of us slowly let little ‘cheats’ into our diet – without realizing the long term impacts these seemingly innocuous choices may be having on our bodies and brains. If we have any hope of getting out of the current obesity pandemic we currently find ourselves in, it starts with removing all the sweetness (artificial or not) from our collective diet.16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 Your health (and waistline) will thank you for it!

 

REFERENCES

[1] Feijó Fde M, Ballard CR, Foletto KC, et al. Saccharin and aspartame, compared with sucrose, induce greater weight gain in adult Wistar rats, at similar total caloric intake levels. Appetite. 2013;60(1):203-7.

[2] Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61(6):691-700.

[3] Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, et al. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014;514(7521):181-6.

[4] Available at: //www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/neuroendocrinology/sugar-artificial-sweeteners-satiety/article/423644/. Accessed July 5, 2015.

[5] Dus M, Lai JS, Gunapala KM, et al. Nutrient Sensor in the Brain Directs the Action of the Brain-Gut Axis in Drosophila. Neuron. 2015;87(1):139-51.

[6] Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP, Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(8):1894-900.

[7] Blundell JE, Hill AJ. Paradoxical effects of an intense sweetener (aspartame) on appetite. Lancet. 1986;1(8489):1092-3.

[8] Pandurangan M, Park J, Kim E. Aspartame downregulates 3T3-L1 differentiation. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2014;50(9):851-7.

[9] Fernstrom JD, Munger SD, Sclafani A, De araujo IE, Roberts A, Molinary S. Mechanisms for sweetness. J Nutr. 2012;142(6):1134S-41S.

[10] Yang Q. Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83(2):101-8.

[11] Goyal SK, Samsher, Goyal RK. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010;61(1):1-10.

[12] Kellett GL, Brot-laroche E, Mace OJ, Leturque A. Sugar absorption in the intestine: the role of GLUT2. Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:35-54.

[13] Sclafani A. Sweet taste signaling in the gut. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007;104(38):14887-8.

[14] Lavin JH, French SJ, Read NW. The effect of sucrose- and aspartame-sweetened drinks on energy intake, hunger and food choice of female, moderately restrained eaters. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997;21(1):37-42.

[15] Stellman SD, Garfinkel L. Artificial sweetener use and one-year weight change among women. Prev Med. 1986;15(2):195-202.

[16] Swinburn BA, Sacks G, Hall KD, et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet. 2011;378(9793):804-14.

[17] Soeliman FA, Azadbakht L. Weight loss maintenance: A review on dietary related strategies. J Res Med Sci. 2014;19(3):268-75.

[18] Lustig RH. Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(9):1307-21.

[19] Isganaitis E, Lustig RH. Fast food, central nervous system insulin resistance, and obesity. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2005;25(12):2451-62.

[20] Lustig RH, Sen S, Soberman JE, Velasquez-mieyer PA. Obesity, leptin resistance, and the effects of insulin reduction. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004;28(10):1344-8.

[21] Lustig RH. The neuroendocrinology of obesity. Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2001;30(3):765-85.

Does Fructose Promote Overeating? | The Paleo Diet

In the early 1980s, public health authorities began warning that saturated fat was driving obesity and various degenerative diseases. During this same period, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) rose to prominence, sneaking itself into processed foods, especially sodas, cookies, and cakes.

Saturated fat consumption fell. Sugar consumption and overall caloric intake rose. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, , and other diet-related diseases got worse. These disturbing facts have prompted nutrition scientists to begin investigate fructose (a primary type of sugar) as a possible driver of the obesity crisis.

Does fructose uniquely promote overeating? Does fructose affect satiety differently than other sugars, particularly ?

Before looking into these questions, we should note that fructose is almost always accompanied by glucose in natural foods. The following chart, for example, shows the sugar content of common foods.

Does Fructose Promote Overeating? | The Paleo Diet

Almost all foods containing sugars, including vegetables, include both glucose and fructose (as well as sucrose, which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose). The ratio of fructose to glucose for most foods hovers around 50:50 and generally never exceeds 70:30.

It’s been suggested that high-fructose corn syrup is more dangerous than table sugar because it contains proportionally more fructose, a modest 55% compared to 50% for ordinary table sugar. According to the numbers in the chart, if fructose were inherently more dangerous than glucose, we would have to conclude that apples and pears are worse than bananas and blueberries.

So is there any evidence that fructose promotes overeating? Is snacking on apples rather than bananas a bad idea? In 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association sparked headlines like, “Fructose changes brain to cause overeating, scientists say,” and “Revealed: fructose ‘may spur overeating.’”1, 2

From the actual study, we read, “Glucose but not fructose ingestion reduced the activation of the hypothalamus, insula, and striatum—brain regions that regulate appetite, motivation, and reward processing; glucose ingestion also increased functional connections between the hypothalamic-striatal network and increased satiety.”3

It seems convincing. But was this study representative of real-world scenarios? Let’s see how the study was organized. The scientists worked with 20 normal-weight subjects (10 men, 10 women) without diabetes and a mean age of 31. The study was a blinded, random-order crossover design (so far so good).

Following an overnight fast, subjects drank 300ml of cherry-flavored water with either 75g of fructose or 75g of glucose. 60 minutes later, blood samples were drawn and the subjects completed a series of surveys rating “feelings of hunger, satiety, and fullness on a scale of 1 to 10.”

First of all, 75g of sugar, whether fructose or glucose, is an inordinately large amount to consume at one time. Roughly equivalent to 2.5 cans of soda, this might not be reflective of real-world consumption patterns. More importantly, however, we never consume foods or beverages sweetened entirely by fructose or by glucose. Invariably, both sugars are present, typically in 50:50 ratios.

This study made headlines because it contradicted previous studies. A 2007 study, for example, tested energy balance and satiety of high-fructose corn syrup (55% fructose, 45% glucose) compared to sucrose (50% fructose, 50% glucose). The scientists found that glucose and fructose contribute to satiety through different biochemical mechanisms, but overall there are no significant differences between sucrose- and HFCS-sweetened drinks with respect to satiety and energy balance.4

Ultimately, the fructose/overeating issue comes down to quantity and form (whole foods versus liquids). Fructose appears to have bidirectional effects. In other words, effects on certain biomarkers (fasting triglycerides, insulin sensitivity, etc.) at moderate doses may be absent or even opposite those observed at very high/excessive doses.5

Very high/excessive doses are almost certainly detrimental, but moderate doses, especially when consumed as whole foods, can be very beneficial. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, determined that consumption of whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is associated with decreased type-2 diabetes risk, whereas consumption of fruit juice is associated with increased risk.6

THE BOTTOM LINE

Foods containing fructose, especially fruits and vegetables, are healthy when consumed as part of a balanced Paleo diet. Eating a couple pieces of fruit each day doesn’t promote overeating, but drinking 4 cans of soda or fruit juice might. More research must be done to better understand fructose, but when you read that fructose is dangerous, ask about the quantity, source, and form (liquid/whole food) of fructose. Also keep in mind that glucose almost always accompanies fructose in real foods, so studies on pure fructose consumption may not be relevant to real-world eating.

Christopher James Clark, B.B.A.


Christopher James Clark | The Paleo Diet TeamChristopher James Clark, B.B.A. is an award-winning writer, consultant, and chef with specialized knowledge in nutritional science and healing cuisine. He has a Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and formerly worked as a revenue management analyst for a Fortune 100 company. For the past decade-plus, he has been designing menus, recipes, and food concepts for restaurants and spas, coaching private clients, teaching cooking workshops worldwide, and managing the kitchen for a renowned Greek yoga resort. Clark is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book, .

 

REFERENCES

[1] CBS/Associated Press. (January 2, 2013). Fructose changes brain to cause overeating, scientists say. CBS News. Retrieved from //www.cbsnews.com/news/fructose-changes-brain-to-cause-overeating-scientists-say/

[2] Associated Press. (January 2, 2013). Revealed: fructose ‘may spur overeating.’ The Independent. Retrieved from //www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/revealed-fructose-may-spur-overeating-8434959.html

[3] Page, KA., et al. (January 2, 2013). Effects of Fructose vs Glucose on Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Brain Regions Involved With Appetite and Reward Pathways. Journal of the American Medical Association, 309(1). Retrieved from //jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1555133

[4] Soenen, S., et al. (December 2007). No differences in satiety or energy intake after high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, or milk preloads. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(6). Retrieved from //ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/6/1586.full

[5] Livesey, G. (April 22, 2009). Fructose Ingestion: Dose-Dependent Responses in Health Research. The Journal of Nutrition, 139(6). Retrieved from //jn.nutrition.org/content/139/6/1246S

[6] Muraki, I., et al. (August 29, 2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies. British Medical Journal, 347. Retrieved from //www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5001

Nutrition Divided: Low-Fat vs. High-Fat Diet | The Paleo Diet

The amount of debate in the nutrition field has never been greater.1, 2, 3 As Americans (and everyone in the world) gets progressively more obese, we seem to be digging into our respective trenches, saying ‘this diet or that diet will cure all ills’.4, 5 This is a sad waste of resources, and a little bit irresponsible, especially in a field where the endgame should be helping people – not furthering one’s own agenda. Sure, you may say I’m biased as well, writing this piece for The Paleo Diet. But the bottom line is, I care about people’s health more than I care about making money.

If you don’t believe me, go ahead and take a look at my website . See if I have anything for sale, or any agenda to be pushed. You will find that I have a nutrition lecture, with slides and scientific references for sale, for a whopping $2 – and that’s it. And it isn’t a ‘pro-Paleo, bash everything else’ lecture. It highlights the science behind good nutritional choices. The long-winded opening here is simply to make a point: everyone who has a ‘big voice’ in nutrition – also has an agenda.6, 7, 8 And they’re not going to stray from their agenda, because it might mean less book sales, less money and less of a voice.

Possibly the single best example of this is Dean Ornish.9 While at first glance Ornish seems like a great nutrition icon (after all, he pushes low fat diets, lots of vegetables, etc.) if you dig a little below the surface, you will find some rot.10 Okay – lots of rot.11 Did you know that Ornish is paid by McDonald’s?12 Yes – that McDonald’s. ConAgra and Pepsi Co. also have Ornish on the payroll.13, 14 Since we all clearly know that McDonald’s, ConAgra and Pepsi are making us all healthier, we really should applaud Dr. Ornish for his work – right? My tongue is planted firmly in cheek on that one.

Nonetheless, because I firmly believe in unbiased science, if Ornish’s approach had some scientific merit, I would actually applaud him for some of his work (the Big Food work is never going to get my approval, but to each their own). But the simple fact is – Ornish’s approach has little-to-no scientific merit.15, 16 While he is indeed correct in stating that we all likely need to eat more vegetables, he goes far away from good science by virtually ignoring the huge problem of sugar – which is undoubtedly one of our biggest dietary downfall in the last 50 years.17, 18, 19 Is it a mere coincidence that if Ornish bashed sugar, he might lose his McDonald’s, ConAgra and Pepsi deals? I think any astute reader will clearly be able to draw the obvious conclusion here.

If you haven’t caught on to the fact that your favorite dietary “guru” may just be cashing in on things, it may be a good idea to take a look around and do some internet searching – just to see what really goes on behind the scenes. If one wants to see some clear bias in action, go ahead and read Dr. Ornish’s piece for The New York Times.20 But this isn’t to simply bash Ornish – like any headline-grabbing nutrition guru, he does offer some good advice. Because when it comes to nutrition, there are always some broad agreements that can be made.21, 22

No one will ever debate that organic vegetables should be included in every diet.23, 24 That is because they have clearly been found to support many different neuronal and physiologic processes.25 26, 27 Though Ornish himself ignores this next point (another nail in the coffin for his bias) almost everyone else agrees that good amounts of healthy fats are very beneficial (elements such as extra virgin olive oil, avocados, almonds, etc.).28, 29, 30 Another common point that nearly everyone agrees on? Eating organic, lean protein.31, 32, 33 This means wild caught salmon, organic chicken and other muscle-building sources of essential amino acids.

Another point that – again, everyone but seemingly Ornish – can agree on? Keep sugar to a minimum – especially added sugar.34, 35 Even the World Health Organization agrees on this point.36 If Ornish’s bias isn’t crystal clear by now, then I’d be shocked. You can also clearly see that I have yet to mention a Paleo Diet. Again, I am not biased. Does it happen that all of these points fall squarely under the Paleo Diet umbrella? Sure. But all of these elements also fall under the Mediterranean Diet umbrella – which nearly everyone in the nutrition world agrees – is extremely healthy.37 And guess what? The science backs up that diet, too.38

Even Dr. David Perlmutter’s often controversial ketogenic diet approach, is substantiated by sound scientific research.39 While one could argue the science doesn’t quite back up all of Dr. Perlmutter’s conclusions yet, the point is he has salient scientific data to support his claims. And I do think one day he will end up being right about nearly everything he states in his book. Only time – and more scientific research – will tell.

So, when you look to indulge in a healthy diet, they may be confused by all of the noise in the media. At that point, I think it is important readers look to the science. And what does the science say? Avoid lots of sugar, eat lots of vegetables, eat lots of healthy fats, and consume quality sources of protein.40 That is all you really need, to put together a healthy diet.

Another huge issue here, which seemingly is only hinted at, is that people have trouble sticking to any diet.41 That is another discussion for another day, but the human factor must be weighed into the scientific debate, as well. The bottom line is, take care of yourself, worry only about your health, and not the back-and-forth bantering that goes on in the media.

There is very little new in the world of nutrition, and the same foods which have been helping humans thrive for centuries, will also be the ones we should keep consuming, since our physiology will not change enough by the time I’m dead, or you are dead, to warrant brand new food choices. If you are overweight, think of all the food choices that led you to this state. Too much sugar? Too many processed foods? Not enough vegetables? That’s what I thought. You don’t need to read biased, industry-backed propaganda to know what to eat. Intrinsically, you’ve known all along.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Willett WC. Diet and health: what should we eat?. Science. 1994;264(5158):532-7.

[2] Kornhuber J. [What should we eat?]. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2014;82(6):309-10.

[3] Adams SM, Standridge JB. What should we eat? Evidence from observational studies. South Med J. 2006;99(7):744-8.

[4] Roth J, Qiang X, Marbán SL, Redelt H, Lowell BC. The obesity pandemic: where have we been and where are we going?. Obes Res. 2004;12 Suppl 2:88S-101S.

[5] Swinburn BA, Sacks G, Hall KD, et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet. 2011;378(9793):804-14.

[6] Available at: //www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6759000. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[7] Available at: //www.nytimes.com/2007/01/09/health/09research.html. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[8] Available at: //www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-dr-oz-hits-back-with-investigation-of-mysterious-critics-20150423-story.html. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[9] Available at: //www.yourdoctorsorders.com/2011/12/the-ornish-myth/. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[10] Available at: //www.menshealth.com/nutrition/high-protein-diets. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[11] Available at: //articles.chicagotribune.com/1990-11-15/entertainment/9004040864_1_fat-diet-nathan-pritikin-diseased-arteries. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[12] Available at: //www.weightymatters.ca/2007/02/dr-dean-ornish-shills-for-mcdonalds.html. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[13] Available at: //www.foodonline.com/doc/dr-dean-ornish-endorses-conagras-natural-food-0001. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[14] Available at: //www.hsc.wvu.edu/Wellness/Dr-Dean-Ornish-Program/Bio-Dean-Ornish.aspx. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[15] Available at: //www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-almost-everything-dean-ornish-says-about-nutrition-is-wrong/. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[16] Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2007;297(9):969-77.

[17] Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, Flanders WD, Merritt R, Hu FB. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):516-24.

[18] Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y. Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013;16(4):434-9.

[19] Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Sugar and fat bingeing have notable differences in addictive-like behavior. J Nutr. 2009;139(3):623-8.

[20] Available at: //www.nytimes.com/2015/03/23/opinion/the-myth-of-high-protein-diets.html. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[21] Liu RH. Health-promoting components of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(3):384S-92S.

[22] Steinmetz KA, Potter JD. Vegetables, fruit, and cancer prevention: a review. J Am Diet Assoc. 1996;96(10):1027-39.

[23] Magkos F, Arvaniti F, Zampelas A. Organic food: buying more safety or just peace of mind? A critical review of the literature. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2006;46(1):23-56.

[24] Liu RH. Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(3 Suppl):517S-520S.

[25] Martin A, Cherubini A, Andres-lacueva C, Paniagua M, Joseph J. Effects of fruits and vegetables on levels of vitamins E and C in the brain and their association with cognitive performance. J Nutr Health Aging. 2002;6(6):392-404.

[26] Polidori MC, Praticó D, Mangialasche F, et al. High fruit and vegetable intake is positively correlated with antioxidant status and cognitive performance in healthy subjects. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;17(4):921-7.

[27] Pandey KB, Rizvi SI. Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2009;2(5):270-8.

[28] Lawrence GD. Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(3):294-302.

[29] De roos N, Schouten E, Katan M. Consumption of a solid fat rich in lauric acid results in a more favorable serum lipid profile in healthy men and women than consumption of a solid fat rich in trans-fatty acids. J Nutr. 2001;131(2):242-5.

[30] Willett WC. Dietary fat plays a major role in obesity: no. Obes Rev. 2002;3(2):59-68.

[31] Brehm BJ, D’alessio DA. Benefits of high-protein weight loss diets: enough evidence for practice?. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2008;15(5):416-21.

[32] Paddon-jones D, Westman E, Mattes RD, Wolfe RR, Astrup A, Westerterp-plantenga M. Protein, weight management, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(5):1558S-1561S.

[33] Halton TL, Hu FB. The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23(5):373-85.

[34] Clabaugh K, Neuberger GB. Research evidence for reducing sugar sweetened beverages in children. Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2011;34(3):119-30.

[35] Basu S, Lewis K. Reducing added sugars in the food supply through a cap-and-trade approach. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(12):2432-8.

[36] Available at: //www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/sugar-guideline/en/. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[37] Willett WC. The Mediterranean diet: science and practice. Public Health Nutr. 2006;9(1A):105-10.

[38] Scarmeas N, Stern Y, Tang MX, Mayeux R, Luchsinger JA. Mediterranean diet and risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2006;59(6):912-21.

[39] Available at: //www.drperlmutter.com/learn/studies/. Accessed May 5, 2015.

[40] Babio N, Bulló M, Salas-salvadó J. Mediterranean diet and metabolic syndrome: the evidence. Public Health Nutr. 2009;12(9A):1607-17.

[41] Thomas SL, Hyde J, Karunaratne A, Kausman R, Komesaroff PA. “They all work.when you stick to them”: a qualitative investigation of dieting, weight loss, and physical exercise, in obese individuals. Nutr J. 2008;7:34.

Getting Fatter and Fatter: The Psychology of Eating | The Paleo Diet

What we eat is determined by how we feel. But what we feel is partially determined by what we eat.1, 2, 3 This paradoxical catch-22 is doubly important because of the obesity pandemic which we currently find ourselves in.4, 5 Clearly, there is a great psychological disruption from the obvious paradigm of eating healthy foods, which help us to feel good and keep us on a healthy path.6, 7 And the mere fact that that issue is so largely affecting so many of us, means that there must be a lot more to this issue.

Getting Fatter and Fatter: The Psychology of Eating | The Paleo Diet

Asmaro, Deyar, and Mario Liotti. “High-Caloric and Chocolate Stimuli Processing in Healthy Humans: An Integration of Functional Imaging and Electrophysiological Findings.” Nutrients 6.1 (2014): 319–341. PMC. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

When we eat vegetables, like kale, broccoli or spinach, we don’t attain any reward, biochemically speaking. However, we, as a world, are now largely subsisting on processed, junk and fast foods – all of which affect our psychology much differently.8, 9 Drinking 20 oz. of soda is a quick way to short-circuit your brain’s pleasure center – by giving it too much, too fast.10, 11

Getting Fatter and Fatter: The Psychology of Eating

Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. “Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function.” Nature reviews. Neuroscience 9.7 (2008): 568–578. PMC. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

But perhaps worse, is that we are now consuming these foods when we are stressed. And we are now stressed all the time.12 Food as a coping mechanism is a very unhealthy relationship, and more and more, that’s the kind of relationship our citizens are in.13 With the short-term reward of a digital, hyper-connected world, we now seek less and less direct human companionship, resulting in a closer relationship with food, or more accurately, “food-like products.”14

Processed, microwaved pizzas, donuts, pastries, sugary breakfast cereals – these have become our fallbacks.15 As we become lonelier and more isolated, we become closer and closer with our genetically modified foodstuffs. And as a result, we become fatter and fatter. We also develop a deeply unsettling relationship with food, as we psychologically use it as a crutch for just about everything.16, 17

We no longer even seem to know the difference between cravings and hunger. And this is the key difference that stops us from making poor, stress-related food choices. Sugar alone is a key issue that is destroying our world’s health.18 Perhaps having the greatest single impact on the psychology around food, sugar is by far the biggest factor that we can control, and which will make the biggest difference on our mental health, in regards to food.19

Getting Fatter and Fatter: The Psychology of Eating | The Paleo Diet

Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando. “Brain Foods: The Effects of Nutrients on Brain Function.” Nature reviews. Neuroscience 9.7 (2008): 568–578. PMC. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

By avoiding excess amounts of sugar, we are automatically focusing on more nutritious food choices. And this is what we need, more than anything else, in order to regain a healthy mental relationship with food.20, 21, 22 Eating meals when we’re hungry, full of brain healthy foods, will help us focus on what really matters – rather than something that temporarily relieves our stress.

And perhaps the worst element of all, is that the more and more we consume foods empty in calories and high in reward – the more we need of them – just to feel normal. This is due to a down-regulation of D2 (dopamine) receptors.23 This is the same mechanism that underlies addictions to alcohol, cocaine and other addictive substances.24, 25 Surprising, isn’t it?

Since Americans are now eating about four to five times more than the amount of sugar they actually need – this is a serious problem.26, 27 And, once our brain feels that reward – it never forgets it. This is the crux of the underlying psychological hold which food has on us. When stressed, we don’t turn to sweet potatoes, kale and liver – we turn to candy, soda – the “hard” stuff.

Consuming a Paleo Diet will help us avoid excess, processed sugar, and will reward our brain in a different way – with neuron-boosting nutrients. Not only does this improve our psychological relationship with food, it keeps us trim and fit. Win-win. Instead of spending your brain’s energy thinking about donuts and sugar, focus instead on Paleo-friendly foods like wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef and spinach.

Avoid those psychologically unhealthy “foods” made in factories and with added chemicals and preservatives – and you will be well on your way to improving your mental and physical health.  This is a definite step in the right psychological direction – just by changing the food on your plate. Your health is ultimately in your control – make the right choices when it comes to the psychology of eating, and you will be much healthier for it.

 

REFERENCES

[1] Nguyen-rodriguez ST, Unger JB, Spruijt-metz D. Psychological determinants of emotional eating in adolescence. Eat Disord. 2009;17(3):211-24.

[2] Harris JL, Bargh JA, Brownell KD. Priming effects of television food advertising on eating behavior. Health Psychol. 2009;28(4):404-13.

[3] Wilson GT, Grilo CM, Vitousek KM. Psychological treatment of eating disorders. Am Psychol. 2007;62(3):199-216.

[4] Roth J, Qiang X, Marbán SL, Redelt H, Lowell BC. The obesity pandemic: where have we been and where are we going?. Obes Res. 2004;12 Suppl 2:88S-101S.

[5] Swinburn BA, Sacks G, Hall KD, et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet. 2011;378(9793):804-14.

[6] Blechert J, Goltsche JE, Herbert BM, Wilhelm FH. Eat your troubles away: electrocortical and experiential correlates of food image processing are related to emotional eating style and emotional state. Biol Psychol. 2014;96:94-101.

[7] Asmaro D, Liotti M. High-caloric and chocolate stimuli processing in healthy humans: an integration of functional imaging and electrophysiological findings. Nutrients. 2014;6(1):319-41.

[8] Smeets PA, De graaf C, Stafleu A, Van osch MJ, Nievelstein RA, Van der grond J. Effect of satiety on brain activation during chocolate tasting in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83(6):1297-305.

[9] Gómez-pinilla F. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008;9(7):568-78.

[10] Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Evidence for sugar addiction: behavioral and neurochemical effects of intermittent, excessive sugar intake. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32(1):20-39.

[11] Green E, Murphy C. Altered processing of sweet taste in the brain of diet soda drinkers. Physiol Behav. 2012;107(4):560-7.

[12] Jackson M. The stress of life: a modern complaint?. Lancet. 2014;383(9914):300-1.

[13] Rorabaugh JM, Stratford JM, Zahniser NR. A relationship between reduced nucleus accumbens shell and enhanced lateral hypothalamic orexin neuronal activation in long-term fructose bingeing behavior. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(4):e95019.

[14] Cohen DA, Babey SH. Contextual influences on eating behaviours: heuristic processing and dietary choices. Obes Rev. 2012;13(9):766-79.

[15] Kant AK. Consumption of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods by adult Americans: nutritional and health implications. The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(4):929-36.

[16] Greeno CG, Wing RR. Stress-induced eating. Psychol Bull. 1994;115(3):444-64.

[17] Nguyen-rodriguez ST, Unger JB, Spruijt-metz D. Psychological determinants of emotional eating in adolescence. Eat Disord. 2009;17(3):211-24.

[18] Hoebel BG, Avena NM, Bocarsly ME, Rada P. Natural addiction: a behavioral and circuit model based on sugar addiction in rats. J Addict Med. 2009;3(1):33-41.

[19] Lien L, Lien N, Heyerdahl S, Thoresen M, Bjertness E. Consumption of soft drinks and hyperactivity, mental distress, and conduct problems among adolescents in Oslo, Norway. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(10):1815-20.

[20] Lieberman HR. Nutrition, brain function and cognitive performance. Appetite. 2003;40(3):245-54.

[21] Bourre JM. Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients. J Nutr Health Aging. 2006;10(5):377-85.

[22] Bradbury J. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): an ancient nutrient for the modern human brain. Nutrients. 2011;3(5):529-54.

[23] Halpern CH, Tekriwal A, Santollo J, et al. Amelioration of binge eating by nucleus accumbens shell deep brain stimulation in mice involves D2 receptor modulation. J Neurosci. 2013;33(17):7122-9.

[24] Liu Y, Von deneen KM, Kobeissy FH, Gold MS. Food addiction and obesity: evidence from bench to bedside. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2010;42(2):133-45.

[25] Suto N, Ecke LE, Wise RA. Control of within-binge cocaine-seeking by dopamine and glutamate in the core of nucleus accumbens. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2009;205(3):431-9.

[26] Johnson RK, Appel LJ, Brands M, et al. Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2009;120(11):1011-20.

[27] Terry-mcelrath YM, Johnston LD, O’malley PM. Trends in competitive venue beverage availability: findings from US secondary schools. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(8):776-8.

Mid-Victorian Diet, How Far Have We Come? | The Paleo Diet

Review of:

Context: Early Victorian era was plagued with starvation; this was corrected, technically, during the late Victorian era, but at what cost?

Dietary changes in the late 19th century in Britain reduced malnutrition and starvation-induced morbidity and mortality, but were far from optimal.

Refined flour, fresh and tinned meat, canned fruit preserved in heavy syrups, and evaporated milk became readily available to the public. In turn, sugar consumption increased exponentially.

Reduced starvation? The population at large became weaker and frailer, their teeth rotted, albeit they were less starved.

Previously, their diet included healthier foods like onions, cherries and apples, bones, dripping, offal, and meat scraps. The study authors inevitably concluded the malnourishment abated because the food got cheaper (less starvation), not healthier.

Another factor in reduced starvation was the fact that physical activity markedly declined in this period, so people simply needed fewer calories to survive. Combine that with sugar-laden confectionaries and otherwise junk food and you have a recipe for disaster.

In other words, they went from a Paleo-template to a Western diet in just a few years. The nutrient density, fibre, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids were diluted with and refined flour. And so a sad state of health was born: diets low in fresh fruits and veggies, and rich in high glycemic index foods like potato products, breakfast cereals, confectioneries, and refined baked foods.  And low physical activity.  They call it “Type B Malnutrition.”  The cause?  Sedentary lifestyle and cheap junk food… in other words, “not Paleo.”

History has repeated itself.  Now that we are in a state where healthy food prices are comparable to junk food, we should be striving to get back to our dietary roots.  A diet rich in whole foods, more similar to an early Victorian or otherwise Paleo template.  That is a necessary prerequisite to curb the rising rate of non-communicable diseases.  “It’s too expensive” is no longer a valid excuse.

William Lagakos, Ph.D.

William Lagakos, Ph.D.Dr. William Lagakos received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology from Rutgers University where his research focused on dietary fat assimilation and integrated energy metabolism. His postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego, centered on obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Dr. William Lagakos has authored numerous manuscripts which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as a non-fiction book titled which explores the concept of calories and simultaneously explains how hormones and the neuroendocrine response to foods regulate nutrient partitioning. He is presently a nutritional sciences researcher, consultant, and blogger.

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings | The Paleo Diet

The scientific basis behind the recommendation to cut out sweets for weight loss and overall health benefit is often overlooked.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Did you know that the more sugar you consume, the more you come to crave it?6, 7, 8, 9, 10 Or how about that eating sweet foods causes a reward in the brain and mesolimbic dopamine pathway?11, 12, 13, 14

The science behind sweet is surprisingly complex, and also paints these foods in a fairly negative light.15, 16, 17, 18 Gambling, shopping, cocaine, heroin, and alcohol – are all common addictions supported by salient science.19 But food and sugar addiction is still questioned – even though our world’s population has never been fatter than we are right now.20, 21, 22 Oftentimes, we see clients turn to artificial sweeteners. And while these may be good as a “methadone” to getting off of sugar, they actually tend to result in weight gain, not weight loss.23, 24, 25

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings | The Paleo Diet

Yang, Qing. “Images in This Article.” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 Nov. 0005. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings | The Paleo Diet

Ahmed, Jessica, […] Robert Preissner. Oxford University Press. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

There are a multitude of reasons to avoid both sugar and artificial sweeteners.26, 27, 28 The body responds to sweet food with a need for more sweet food, and ignores foods that will contain more nutrients, and have more satiety.29 If we look at something like fructose specifically, some researchers have pointed out fructose is nearly equal to alcohol, in both societal function, hedonic and neuronal response, among others.30, 31

Molecularly, the structure of artificial sweeteners is interesting.32, 33 These creations have only existed for a little over 100 years, so we know very little about how our genome responds to them, at least in the long term.34, 35, 36

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings | The Paleo Diet

Yang, Qing. “Images in This Article.” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 Nov. 0005. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

In 2008, only 15% of the population consumed artificial sweeteners, but that number has increased every year since. The number of products containing artificial sweeteners has also increased substantially, from 369 in 1998 to 2,346 in 2010. Interestingly, table sugar and glucose activate human taste pathways differently than artificial sweeteners.37

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings |The Paleo Diet

“Download PDFs.” Altered Processing of Sweet Taste in the Brain of Diet Soda Drinkers. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

Sucrose elicts a stronger brain response in the following regions: the anterior insula, frontal operculum, striatum and anterior cingulate.38 Sugar also stimulates the dopaminergic midbrain areas in relation to the behavioral pleasantness response.39 Your brain can tell the difference between artificial sweeteners and sugar, but does that mean that artificial sweeteners are better for us?

Neurobiology of Sugar Cravings | The Paleo Diet

“Download PDFs.” Altered Processing of Sweet Taste in the Brain of Diet Soda Drinkers. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.

The answer: No.40 41 The link between artificial sweetener consumption and obesity is an interesting one.42 Presumably, non-nutritive sweeteners would be a better alternative. However, there are alterations in reward processing of sweet taste in individuals who regularly consume diet soda.43 The more the reward process is altered, the more diet soda is consumed.44

Addictive drugs cause increases in extracellular dopamine in the brain’s “pleasure center,” the nucleus accumbens.45 When you consume sugar, binging on the substance releases dopamine, similarly to addictive drugs.46 The brain responds to chronic high sugar consumption by altering its own dopamine receptors.47 The sugar-opiate similarities are fascinating, and even work at a genetic level.48 In fact, research shows sugar-dependent rats have alterations in dopamine and opioid mRNA levels, similar to morphine-dependent rats.49

The best way to combat sugar cravings and live a healthier life? Consume a Paleo Diet. You will be loading up on nutrient dense foods, and avoiding large amounts of sugar. You will also be cutting out artificial sweeteners entirely. By resetting your taste for sweet foods, a little fruit here and there, will go a long way, to satisfying your sweet tooth. And if you must indulge, aim for some very dark, organic, chocolate. Enjoy the slimmer, trimmer, version of yourself, as a result.

REFERENCES

[1] Chen L, Appel LJ, Loria C, et al. Reduction in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight loss: the PREMIER trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1299-306.

[2] Kasim-karakas SE, Almario RU, Cunningham W. Effects of protein versus simple sugar intake on weight loss in polycystic ovary syndrome (according to the National Institutes of Health criteria). Fertil Steril. 2009;92(1):262-70.

[3] Drewnowski A, Bellisle F. Liquid calories, sugar, and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(3):651-61.

[4] Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010;55(1):37-43.

[5] Malik VS, Pan A, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;98(4):1084-102.

[6] Avena NM, Bocarsly ME, Hoebel BG. Animal models of sugar and fat bingeing: relationship to food addiction and increased body weight. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;829:351-65.

[7] Avena NM, Rada P, Hoebel BG. Sugar bingeing in rats. Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2006;Chapter 9:Unit9.23C.

[8] Rada P, Avena NM, Hoebel BG. Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell. Neuroscience. 2005;134(3):737-44.

[9] Blum K, Thanos PK, Gold MS. Dopamine and glucose, obesity, and reward deficiency syndrome. Front Psychol. 2014;5:919.

[10] Swiecicki L, Scinska A, Bzinkowska D, et al. Intensity and pleasantness of sucrose taste in patients with winter depression. Nutr Neurosci. 2014;

[11] Berridge KC. ‘Liking’ and ‘wanting’ food rewards: brain substrates and roles in eating disorders. Physiol Behav. 2009;97(5):537-50.

[12] Wise RA. Role of brain dopamine in food reward and reinforcement. Philos Trans R Soc Lond, B, Biol Sci. 2006;361(1471):1149-58.

[13] Blum K, Gardner E, Oscar-berman M, Gold M. “Liking” and “wanting” linked to Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS): hypothesizing differential responsivity in brain reward circuitry. Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(1):113-8.

[14] Murray S, Tulloch A, Gold MS, Avena NM. Hormonal and neural mechanisms of food reward, eating behaviour and obesity. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014;10(9):540-52.

[15] Tandel KR. Sugar substitutes: Health controversy over perceived benefits. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2011;2(4):236-43.

[16] Bellisle F, Drewnowski A. Intense sweeteners, energy intake and the control of body weight. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007;61(6):691-700.

[17] Caffaro CE, Hirschberg CB. Nucleotide sugar transporters of the Golgi apparatus: from basic science to diseases. Acc Chem Res. 2006;39(11):805-12.

[18] Willett WC, Ludwig DS. Science souring on sugar. BMJ. 2013;346:e8077.

[19] Grant JE, Potenza MN, Weinstein A, Gorelick DA. Introduction to behavioral addictions. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2010;36(5):233-41.

[20] Ziauddeen H, Fletcher PC. Is food addiction a valid and useful concept?. Obes Rev. 2013;14(1):19-28.

[21] Corsica JA, Pelchat ML. Food addiction: true or false?. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2010;26(2):165-9.

[22] Swinburn BA, Sacks G, Hall KD, et al. The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environments. Lancet. 2011;378(9793):804-14.

[23] Yang Q. Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83(2):101-8.

[24] Mattes RD, Popkin BM. Nonnutritive sweetener consumption in humans: effects on appetite and food intake and their putative mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(1):1-14.

[25] Fowler SP, Williams K, Resendez RG, Hunt KJ, Hazuda HP, Stern MP. Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008;16(8):1894-900.

[26] Popkin BM, Nielsen SJ. The sweetening of the world’s diet. Obes Res. 2003;11(11):1325-32.

[27] Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, Flanders WD, Merritt R, Hu FB. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):516-24.

[28] Fried SK, Rao SP. Sugars, hypertriglyceridemia, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;78(4):873S-880S.

[29] Cantley LC. Cancer, metabolism, fructose, artificial sweeteners, and going cold turkey on sugar. BMC Biol. 2014;12:8.

[30] Lustig RH. Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(9):1307-21.

[31] Lustig RH. Fructose: it’s “alcohol without the buzz”. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(2):226-35.

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The Dark Side of the Food Industry | The Paleo Diet

Oftentimes in the health, fitness and nutrition industry, we find ourselves splintered off, into tiny sections, subsections and niches. While the monetary rewards and competitive market may deem this necessary, this line of thinking substantially hurts the Paleo community’s overall power.

“The 2011 QSR 50.” QSR Magazine. N.p., Aug. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

The Dark Side of the Food Industry | The Paleo Diet

Collectively, we can recognize, organize, harness, and use our power to reform the many apparent dangers and problems of the U.S. food industry.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

The ills of the industry are vast.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 And the food industry, unlike citizens, is protected by lobbyists, politicians and corporations.21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 History has a way of repeating itself. If we look to the tobacco industry that publicly touted little health risk, the food industry is equally aware of which staples are detrimental to health, but publicly don’t bat an eye at our skyrocketing (and bankrupting) healthcare costs.28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37

Type 2 diabetes is killing our economy, to the tune of $245 billion, per year.38 39, 40, 41, 42 In the U.S. alone, nearly one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, yet food and beverage companies continue to target them with advertising for the same products that contribute to their problems.43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 To put the food industry’s hold on our health in proper perspective, realize that basically 10 companies control nearly our entire food supply.49

Bradford, Harry. “These 10 Companies Control Enormous Number Of Consumer Brands [GRAPHIC].” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

Shao. Korean Society of Community Nutrition and the Korean Nutrition Society. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 June 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2011

Bernhardt, Amy M.,Public Library of Science. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Do you know who does the bulk of water purification, overseas? Coca-Cola. Remember the time when you didn’t have to pay $8 for a bottle of water, at the movie theater? 50, 51, Remember the time when we weren’t buying bottled drinking water – at all? 52, 53 I sure do.

We used to rely on farmers, and their honest practices, to provide us with clean, organic, non-GMO food. Now we rely on multi-national corporations and mega-companies, who specifically target “heavy users” (their language, not mine) to provide them with the large majority of their profits.54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61

Layman’s terms translation: “Heavy users” are the high-roller consumers of soda and junk food.62 The term “heavy users” was co-opted from the tobacco industry. Is this an implication of addictive product? We think so.63, 64, 65, 66   Tantalizing and deceptive marketing allowed limited nutrition and excessive sugar to enter the mainstream.67, 68, 69, 70

Berman, Jillian. “You’re Paying A Ton To Subsidize Fast Food’s Poverty Wages.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Worse yet, these ad campaigns target impressionable children, at peak times to maximize their visibility.71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 7,7 78, 79,80, 81 In spending billions of dollars to capture “market share” (i.e. your kid’s mouth, and your hard-earned dollar) to peddle sugary, salty products,82, 83, 84, 85 your kids become over-stimulated, sick – and left craving more.86, 87, 88, 89, 90

On this issue, we have the opportunity to build bridges, not walls.

Rally together. Support what we all believe in: reform the food industry so they have our best interest and health in mind. Take action and responsibility and together we can fix the increasing health problems that plague us in the 21st century.

In 2013, we spent roughly $2.8 trillion (almost 20% of our GDP) on healthcare.91 We are in the business of helping people, whether they’re ill, uninformed, injured – or all three.

De Vogli R, Kouvonen A, Gimeno D. The influence of market deregulation on fast food consumption and body mass index: a cross national time series analysis. Bull World Health Organ 2014;92:99–107A

Soon our country’s healthcare system will be bankrupt from all these diseases and illnesses – many of which are entirely preventable.92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101 Join the fight against the ills of the food industry, and ‘share’ this article with your family and friends. You have a voice, and you can make a difference.

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Let’s Face It: Halloween Haunts Diabetics

Halloween treats are hardly Paleo. One bite-sized candy bar can contain anywhere from 10 – 30g of carbohydrate. And it’s not fibrous carbs or safe starches; it’s usually sugar. Pop two or three of these and, you’re looking at potentially 2-6 more units of insulin injections to maintain blood glucose control, let alone the risks of inducing hypoglycemia. One comprehensive review showed that this may induce up to a two-fold increased risk for severe hypoglycemia.2 It has long been known that the best strategy for diabetics is carbohydrate restriction, especially restricting sugar intake, not increasing the insulin to counteract large sugar boluses. With symptoms ranging from tachycardia and sweating, to stupor and coma, hypoglycemia isn’t a laughing matter.1

Furthermore, one study even showed a 71% increased risk of in younger diabetic patients, and a threefold increased risk of hypoglycemia.4 While trick-or-treating one day out of the year will not be the end-all, it’s not without risks. If you must have your Halloween treats, keep it to a minimum, and if you’re diabetic, monitor your blood glucose. Choose dark chocolate over pure sugar confections, which have a healthy dose of dietary fat to attenuate the spike in blood glucose.

Even in healthy individuals, a candy bar containing 45g of carbohydrate (mostly sugar) can spike blood glucose by up to 30 points.3

Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2013, 38:484-489, 10.1139/apnm-2011-0226

Again, it’s only one day out of the year, but diabetic patients + candy = no bueno. The risks and consequences of hyper- and hypoglycemia are much greater.

The good news: a Paleo Diet does wonders for insulin sensitivity.6 In the figure below, the filled symbols represent glucose tolerance prior to the study, and the open symbols after 12 weeks.

Diabetologia. 2007 Sep;50(9):1795-807. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

The Paleo Diet is the optimal “diabetes diet” in type 2 diabetic patients.5 If that doesn’t say a lot, I don’t know what does!

William Lagakos, Ph.D.

William Lagakos, Ph.D.Dr. William Lagakos received a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology from Rutgers University where his research focused on dietary fat assimilation and integrated energy metabolism. His postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Diego, centered on obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance. Dr. William Lagakos has authored numerous manuscripts which have been published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as a non-fiction book titled which explores the concept of calories and simultaneously explains how hormones and the neuroendocrine response to foods regulate nutrient partitioning. He is presently a nutritional sciences researcher, consultant, and blogger.

REFERENCES

1. Ahren B. Avoiding hypoglycemia: a key to success for glucose-lowering therapy in type 2 diabetes. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2013;9:155-163.

2. Boussageon R, Bejan-Angoulvant T, Saadatian-Elahi M, Lafont S, Bergeonneau C, Kassai B, . . . Cornu C. Effect of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality, cardiovascular death, and microvascular events in type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2011;343:d4169.

3. Dugan K, Campbell B, Dufour F, Roman S, Woodall C, McAdams M, . . . Wilborn CD. Acute glycemic and blood lipid response to the ingestion of a candy bar-like protein supplement compared with its candy bar counterpart. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. May 2013;38(5):484-489.

4. Giorgino F. Intensive glucose-lowering results in increased cardiovascular mortality in younger but not older individuals with type 2 diabetes. Evid Based Med. Jul 15 2014.

5. Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahren B, Branell UC, Palsson G, Hansson A, . . . Lindeberg S. Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovascular diabetology. 2009;8:35.

6. Lindeberg S, Jonsson T, Granfeldt Y, Borgstrand E, Soffman J, Sjostrom K, Ahren B. A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. Diabetologia. Sep 2007;50(9):1795-1807.

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