Blood sugar balance

Nuts About Coconuts (Oil)

What makes coconut oil unique? At a temperature of 76 degrees or higher, it is liquid and the high saturated fatty acid content causes it to turn solid when it is colder.

Are saturated fats dangerous for your arteries? Consider the fact that our body temperatures are about 98.6. This means that coconut oil is liquid at that temperature so could not clog arteries. This is beside the fact that all fats are broken down into small bits before they are absorbed from the digestive tract. So, you don’t need to worry about natural fats, only processed or fried fats.

Coconut oil is healthy for the gut, the brain, and the skin. It will help arrest and prevent Alzheimer’s and it improves cholesterol and assists with loss of belly fat and weight.

Can you think of any other oil or fat that has the same benefits? Although there are many healthy fats, such as flax oil, olive oil, and butter, coconut oil may be one of the smartest choices.

We are learning more about the needs of a healthy brain. Alzheimer’s is considered to be Diabetes Type 3. The good news is that this gives us a prevention and treatment path. Keep blood sugar in balance, limit the various forms of sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, and refined sugar, and protect your brain function. The brain operates well using ketones, instead of sugar, for fuel. Ketones are produced in the liver from fats, only when sugar consumption is low. http://healthimpactnews.com/2016/study-how-ketones-as-brain-fuel-can-prevent-alzheimers-disease/

Many people have mentioned that their memory seems to be getting worse, or they feel foggy. Decreasing sugar and starchy carbs, and increasing good fats like coconut oil would be worth trying as a remedy.

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. There are four different types of fat in coconut oil, and each has benefits. Lauric acid is a fat that may help balance hormones, with benefits for men and women.

The medium chain fatty acids seem to be processed differently in the body, so they encourage lean muscle and fat loss. Belly fat may be reduced with long-term consumption. Keep in mind that you have to reduce sugar and starches to enjoy this benefit.  http://dailyhealthlifestyles.com/20-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/4/

MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides) has been making the news in the Paleo world for making bullet-proof coffee. MCT is processed coconut oil, so it is missing some of the all-around benefits of raw unrefined coconut oil. Is MCT better for lean muscle? Check out the bullet-proof website to see what they have to say, but be sure to use high quality no matter if you want to try it. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/what-is-mct-oil-vs-coconut-oil/

A high-fat low-carb diet was used at Johns Hopkins Hospital to treat epilepsy in children with dramatic results. High-fat low-carb has been used to starve cancer cells, and may be an exciting alternative for treating brain tumors. https://healthimpactnews.com/2013/using-the-ketogenic-diet-to-heal-brain-tumors/

Bacteria does not seem to like the fats in coconut oil, so it is good for the immune system and for gut healing if you have already taken too many antibiotics, or suffer from gastric distress. Inflammation is naturally reduced with the fats in coconut oil. Again, reducing sugar consumption is key. Also, experiment with reducing dairy and wheat/grains, which seem to be inflammatory for many people.

As you can see the list goes on and on. Adding coconut oil to your morning smoothie, spreading it on veggies, or using it for cooking, has internal benefits. As a hair and skin conditioner, coconut oil is healing and moisturizing for every member of the family from a babe in diapers to acne-prone teens, and age-conscious adults.

Coconut water and cream can also be a healthy addition to your diet. I use grass-fed butter and coconut cream in my tea and coffee for a delicious alternative to dairy. I learned to drink tea with milk when I lived in England and none of the milk alternatives did the trick for me. But coconut creamer and butter make the tea taste just right.

If you have been using canola oil, or other vegetable oils, it is time for an oil change. Coconut oil is better than butter or olive oil for higher temperature cooking.

But the real benefits come from using raw, organic coconut oil. Enjoy it on skin and hair for its beauty benefits, or add it to your diet for its health benefits. Inside or outside, you can go nuts for coconuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emeralds, Rubies, Minerals and You

More than half of all Americans take Vitamins on a regular basis. But what about minerals?

Did you know that you can arrest a cold just by taking calcium? Cancer cells can die when there is sufficient copper and zinc in the body. Manganese is needed for proper pituitary function. The pituitary is the master gland that controls the hormone system in both men and women. Zinc is vital for prostate function, immune function, and zinc is required for the production of stomach acid used for digestion.

Vitamins are co-factors that allow and assist in all the small processes that contribute to the function of each system in the body. Minerals provide the building blocks of the cells of the body, or act as escorts to other nutrients.

There is an elaborate dance that goes on at a cellular level. The foods we eat, consisting of carbohydrates (starches and sugars, vegetables and fruits), proteins (meats, fish, poultry, eggs), and fats (oils and butter), are broken down by enzymes, assisted by vitamins. Then they are absorbed into the blood system for transportation to areas where they are reconfigured into the various cells and fluids of the body.

The body is a gigantic factory that produces endless products on an hourly basis. Minerals are the building blocks used to form the structure of the cells. But remember that nothing in Nature acts alone. For example, calcium must be in a matrix with other minerals, such as magnesium and phosphorus, so just taking high levels of calcium won’t give you strong bones.

Salt and potassium are minerals used to allow nutrients to pass into cells, and cellular wasteproducts to pass out of cells for elimination. Sulfur is required for detoxification processes in the liver.

Other minerals are needed in trace (tiny) amounts, but pack a big wallop in terms of benefits. Iodine is necessary for thyroid hormone function, chromium helps regulate blood sugar, and iron carries oxygen in red blood cells. Our cells are like fish. They live in a salt sea and they need oxygen to “breathe”. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/tc/minerals-their-functions-and-sources-topic-overview

Vegetables are great sources of minerals, since they draw the minerals up from the soil, but the minerals must be in the soil in the first place. Chemical farming methods that destroy and strip the soil, along with chemical fertilizers, create the giant tasteless veggies that are sold in supermarkets.

All natural forms of foods contain minerals, including dairy, eggs, whole grains, nuts and seeds, meats and fish. Minerals are alkalinizing, but there must be sufficient stomach acid for minerals to be digested and absorbed.

Our modern diets of processed foods and sugar are woefully deficient in minerals. If you are stressed, suffer from weak bones, have difficulty sleeping, losing weight or healing from rashes or acne, you may be mineral deficient.

The quality of the mineral supplement is very important, because some forms of minerals are easy for the body to utilize, and others are not. The best minerals are those found in food sources, so this is another good reason to eat organic food from trusted sources that enrich the soil as it is farmed.

Some minerals will keep the body hydrated, so drinking water alone may not be enough in hot weather. Kids often eat the most depleted diets, when they are desperate for minerals as their bodies are growing. How much ADHD might be mineral deficiency? And a hydrated body is also a younger looking body, because the skin needs the right balance of minerals to be plump and firm.

Let us know if you are concerned about your own mineral balance. We have a zinc test you can take, and there are other ways to check your mineral balance. I have seen minerals make a world of difference when a deficiency is corrected, from improving serious conditions like Celiac (severe allergy to gluten) to improving energy or even lifting depression.

There are more than 4,000 naturally occurring minerals on earth. Some are considered precious gems, such as emeralds and rubies. But none are more valuable than the minerals that you need in your body to restore and maintain healthy body function. http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/inside-the-earth/minerals-gems/

Our dreams and spirits may be not of this world, but our bodies are rooted in the ground. There is a reason we refer to Mother Earth. She nourishes us, when we let her, so we can live the dreams we make.

 

 

 

 

Are You Eating Gluten-free Bread?

With all the concerns about wheat these days, many people are turning to gluten-free bread. Gluten is one of the proteins in wheat. It helps make bread dough elastic, and gives bread a light soft texture, instead of the heavy, chewier texture of whole grain breads.

What is it about bread that is so hard to give up? Toasted, snuggling up to sandwich ingredients, or slathered with butter, bread is a comfort food for many of us.

Modern commercial wheat has been genetically modified, laced with pesticides and stripped of nutrients. Even people who are not allergic to gluten, or to wheat, are turning to other flour choices for bread and crackers.

It is also possible to have sensitivity to other grains, or to grains in general. If eating grains in the form of bread, pasta, or crackers causes bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, or changes in your stool, consider that your body may not do well on grains. Buckwheat, wild rice, and quinoa are not grains, and are good substitutes. One cup of quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams carb, 8 grams protein and 3 grams fat. It also has some vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy food. But the carb content means you should limit serving size. It is a better choice than rice for carbs and protein. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

In order to mimic the light soft texture of standard American bread, manufacturers have turned to ingredients like tapioca starch and potato starch. Tapioca is a root and was often used to make a pudding in the past. It is the high starch content of gluten-free breads which can sabotage blood sugar and cause weight gain. Starch is metabolized like sugar, so can spike and drop blood sugar just like cake. Udi’s Gluten-free Bread has tapioca and potato starch as the first ingredients. For 140 calories (2 slices) you get 22 grams of carbohydrate. My personal favorite is Food for Life Gluten-free Bread. The first ingredient is rice flour, and it has safflower oil instead of canola oil. Two slices are 110 calories.

There are other healthy choices, especially if you bake at home. Gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s, coconut flour and nut flours have less starch and higher protein generally. They will not mimic soft white bread, but they can be used for cookies, baked goods and crackers. Here is an easy recipe to try. http://theprettybee.com/2013/10/easy-gluten-free-cracker-recipe.html

If you are trying to lose weight, the best thing is to break the bread habit completely, and that can take some time. It really calls for some creative solutions to drop out the sandwich and toast habit. Bread and flour products are very filling, so your body may try to tell you that you are hungry, even if you have had plenty of calories. Add some more healthy fat to your diet, and that will help satisfy your appetite. You can also eat veggies in bulk, maybe with some healthy dip, like guacamole or hummus. Sliced jicama, celery, and cucumber can be used as dippers or carriers for things normally eaten with bread, such as tuna salad or nut butters.

How to know how much bread, pasta and starchy carbs you can eat? If you can eat starches without gaining inches or weight, your activity level and metabolism can handle the starch. If you are at all over-weight, you are eating beyond your body’s metabolic needs. Even if you are eating “whole grain” wheat and bread, you may be getting too much starch that turns to sugar. Ezekiel bread is still too high in carb content for many, if not most. Our activity levels just do not support high grain diets these days. The nutrition benefits are not balanced by any weight-gain that signifies a sugar metabolism problem.

If you are concerned about your gluten tolerance, come in for a blood spot test that will identify your true food sensitivities. You may be surprised by the foods that your body can’t tolerate that you may not have suspected.

For a detox or blood sugar program that helps break the bread/starch habit, come see us or call the office. 818-562-1400.

It has been said that man does not live by bread alone, and you can prove it to yourself by breaking the bread habit.

 

 

 

 

 

Staying Strong For Men

When women age, we can talk about it freely because women are allowed to be concerned about their hormonal changes, their faces, and figures.  For men, the problems of aging may be just as concerning, but not so easily discussed.

Just like women, men have a need for hormone balance. The adrenal glands (those tiny but mighty glands sitting above the kidneys) make the steroid hormones that allow us to run faster in danger, monitor libido, and determine energy levels. Men and women both make hormones out of cholesterol. Then the cascade of hormones proceeds into progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. Estrogen is lowest on the hormone chain, and estrogen is formed from testosterone.

An enzyme called aromatase causes the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Aromatase can surge when too much sugar, alcohol or refined carbohydrate is consumed, spiking blood sugar. As more fat accumulates around breasts (man boobs) and belly, the fat can also produce estrogen, adding to the problem. http://blogs.christianpost.com/health/is-your-testosterone-turning-into-estrogen-5890/

All cells in the body have hormone receptors on them. For men, testosterone should be more dominantly parked in the cells. If there is too much estrogen, then the male sexual characteristics diminish. Muscles turn to fat and the prostate can enlarge. Too much circulating estrogen is a risk for prostate cancer. http://e.hormone.tulane.edu/learning/docking-receptor-binding.html

Higher amounts of circulating estrogen increase risk of stroke.  Estrogen dominance, which is the ratio of estrogen to testosterone, is a risk for heart attack and thicker arteries. Low testosterone levels can be associated with depression and anxiety. http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/low-testosterone-8/default.htm

Statin drugs decrease cholesterol, which in turn can decrease testosterone levels. This may lead to Erectile Dysfunction caused by low testosterone. Statin drugs have also been associated with higher risk of Diabetes Type II. Sufficient healthy fats in the blood keep blood sugar levels more balanced.

You can monitor your testosterone levels through blood or Salvia hormone testing. Another simple way is to have a zinc taste test. Adequate zinc is needed for testosterone. We offer all of these tests at Well Body Clinic.

We also have herbal DHEA and testosterone boosters, in cream and tablet form that will encourage the body to make more testosterone. A detox program for weight loss, or a Blood Sugar balance program, will help you kick the carb habit, stop the snack cravings, drop weight and lose the excess belly fat.

Lifestyle choices may influence your testosterone levels. Avoid excess alcohol, sugar and grains. Eat sufficient protein, but make sure it is digested well; so digestive enzymes can be used. Get plenty of cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels Sprouts to help the liver metabolize excess estrogen. Get moderate exercise and sufficient sleep. (Maybe Mom was right all along.)

No matter what kind of a job you have, life itself is an Olympic event and those who train for it usually come out ahead of the crowd. Breaking old habits is never easy until the new habits have replaced them.

For Father’s Day, and every day, stay strong and ready for the next event. Healthy guys are sexier. And out-running your kids is always satisfying.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in our lives.