Food Guide to Health Recovery & Weight Loss
This guide uses concepts from paleo and ketogenic diet principles. It is safe for long term use, nutritious and satisfying.
The is not a diet to go on, lose weight then go back to a “regular diet.”
Many people who eat this way may experience these benefits:
- pain relief
- less headaches
- less digestive complaints
- weight loss
- increased lean body mass
- decreased inflammation
- reduced anxiety and depression
- better moods
- no hunger between meals
- reduced or no carb cravings
- sinus and respiratory improvement
- better energy
- improvement in autoimmune conditions
- improved brain functioning
One of the goals of these concepts is to restore our ability to burn dietary fats and body fat for energy. When our body is conditioned to burn fat, or ketones, we become metabolically flexible. Instead of plunging into hypoglycemia, which makes us “hangry” — hungry and angry and irritable, we shift easily into burning ketones.
We have two fuel choices, glucose or ketones. We cannot burn ketones until carbs are significantly restricted, allowing insulin levels to drop. When insulin is elevated from dietary carbs or stress, we cannot burn fat, but only store fat on our body.
When blood sugar spikes from breads and sugar, insulin rises to burn or store excess carbs as fat, often followed by reactive hypoglycemia, which then is followed by a surge in the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol releases stored sugar from the liver, called glycogen and breaks down muscle, bones, connective tissue and organs, turning them to sugar for the brain, which is most sensitive to falling blood sugar. This process can lead to hunger, cravings, obesity, diabetes, with increased risks of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's and cancer.
When we significantly restrict sugars and starches, insulin levels come down and we can burn ketones.
Benefits of burning ketones:
- increased blood flow to the brain
- increased blood flow to the heart
- increased blood flow to the muscles
- ketones are anti-inflammatory
- no hunger or cravings
- better energy
- better moods
We can eat keto all day long, but if at night we are having beers, alcohol, especially sugary mixed drinks, or cookies and ice cream for dessert, we cannot make that conversion to being a fat burner. We will struggle with hypoglycemia, hunger and cravings the next day.
We have to consistently avoid carbs to train our bodies to burn fat.
This includes “natural sugars” like honey and maple syrup. No agave syrup or date sugar, or high fructose corn syrup. Table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose is the most metabolically damaging sugar, causing insulin resistance and liver damage. Insulin resistance means insulin is always, or often elevated, preventing fat burning, keeping us in fat-storage mode only.
At one time, fructose was considered a safe sugar as it does not raise blood glucose. But now we know that fructose is metabolized in the liver, creating insulin resistance, first in the liver, then the muscles, then the brain. Agave syrup, often marketed as a “safe sugar” because of its very high fructose levels, now is regarded as a leading cause of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the precursor to diabetes.
Eliminate wheat and gluten:
Wheat is a super carbohydrate, including whole wheat. Blood sugar spikes much higher after bread than after table sugar. A lectin in whole wheat called WGA, or wheat germ agglutinin, acts like insulin, pumping sugar into fat cells.
Eliminate all cereal grains. All grains, including pseudograins like quinoa, are low in nutrients and high in anti-nutrients and starch. Same with potatoes. All non-organic grains are now “superkilled” with glyphosate before harvest to quickly dry the grains.
No legumes — they are high in starch, low in healthy fats and high in anti-nutrients, like lectins, phytates and enzyme inhibitors.
Eliminate vegetable seed oils — no canola, grapeseed, corn, soy, safflower, sunflower or cottonseed oils. They are high in inflammatory omega six fats. These are hidden in salad dressings and restaurant foods. Inflammation can stop fat burning.
Best oils — extra virgin olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut and MCT oils, the fats naturally present in pasture fed animals and wild caught fish and pastured egg yolks. Grass fed butter and ghee are very good fats.
Have all the above ground vegetables you want, especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Baby greens, leafy greens can be eaten raw, but many vegetables have more available nutrients if cooked.
Root vegetables — avoid potatoes, they can be inflammatory and spike blood sugar.
Avoid all root crops if you are trying to lose weight.
Most of our paleolithic ancestors survived ice ages with virtually no plants, and fruits available only for a few short months in the summer and fall.
Humans have also been making fruits bigger and sweeter by selection and hybridization since agriculture began, about 10,000 years ago.
The primary sugar in fruits is fructose. Fructose is the most metabolically damaging sugar, the number one cause of NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, now causing more liver damage than alcohol. Fructose is 30 times more potent in causing insulin resistance than glucose. Fructose does not cause a release of leptin, the hunger hormone that tells us we've had enough to eat. Nature wants us to gorge on fruit, so we can spread their seeds, theoretically.
Table sugar is 50% fructose, honey even higher, agave syrup is as much as 90% fructose.
If you are trying to lose weight, don't eat fruits.
If you are at your ideal weight, make berries your choice, and have these sweet carbs at the end of the day. Starting your day with fruit will keep you on the sugar-burning roller coaster all day.
Animal proteins are the most digestible and most nutritious.
All meats should be 100% grass fed. Beef, lamb and bison are rich in omega 3's, complete protein, zinc, carnosine, carnitine, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins, especially B12.
Eggs — pastured eggs are widely available now. A deep orange yolk is very nutritious.
Dairy Products — Commercial cows milk, even organic, has been processed far beyond what came out of the cow. It is pasteurized, homogenized, defatted, added non-fat dry milk powder, de-odorized and the cows are fed glyphosate contaminated corn and soy, depriving these animals of their natural food, grass. Cow's milk, yogurt and cheese tend to raise insulin, which impedes fat burning. Cow's milk is designed to grow a 60 lb. calf to 600 lbs. in six months, creating a large body with a very small brain.
Organic, 100% grass fed dairy products are now available. But milk and yogurt, even plain yogurt, are too high in sugar to support weight loss. Cheeses have the sugar fermented out, making them low carb. If you can't lose weight, eliminate cow dairy. Goat and sheep milk cheeses are less insulinogenic. Exceptions: 100% grass fed butter, ghee, and 100% grass fed cheeses.
But again, if you can't lose weight, eliminate all dairy.
Fish — avoid all farm raised fish. Alaskan salmon and other cold water fish are great. Also sardines canned in olive oil or water. Canned Alaskan salmon and tuna packed in olive oil or water — no vegetable oils. Raw oysters are very high in B12, zinc and selenium.
Poultry and Pork — There are no 100% grass fed chickens and pigs. They are fed grains, the cheapest and most commercial is corn, more than 90% is from GMO seeds. Soy is another cheap, mostly GMO animal feed, that is also contaminated with the likely carcinogen, glyphosate. Poultry and pork have more inflammatory omega 6 fats from corn and soy. Inflammation says to the body “we are going to war, hold onto the fat for war resources.” Inflammation in our body, often in the form of a damaged microbiome, stops weight loss. Give up chicken and pork if you aren't losing weight.
Look for local producers for chickens, pork and turkey at Farmer's Markets and in your area on eatwild.com, a pasture fed resource.
There are many reliable sources for 100% grass fed beef, lamb and bison, all of which are more nutritious than poultry.
Nuts and Seeds:
Both can be more difficult to digest.
Nuts have a better fatty acid profile, more mono fats, less polyunsaturated fats.
Peanuts and cashews are legumes and should be avoided.
Choose macadamias, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts and almonds.
Converting to a fat burner may take 2-6 weeks, depending on your commitment to the diet and how sugar-addicted you are. If you have been eating fast food or processed foods, you may go through chemical-addiction withdrawal.
There may be a week or two of adjustment, sometimes called “keto-flu,” with low energy, headaches, cravings, hypoglycemia and irritability.
However, once you're through with that phase, your brain wakes up, you have a sense of well-being and become free from hunger and cravings.
Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
Primal Fat Burner by Nora Gedgaugas CNS, CNT
Professor Jeff Volek — The Art and Science of Low Carb Living: Cardio-Metabolic Benefits and Beyond — Orthomolecular News