Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Why Snacking is a Health Hazard

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Why Snacking is a Health Hazard

Over the past few years there has been an emphasis on eating regularly throughout the day, with main meals separated by snacking: Breakfast followed by a mid morning snack; lunch followed by mid-afternoon snack and dinner followed by evening snack or supper. This was supposed to help stimulate metabolism, keep weight in check and provide stable blood sugar regulation. Well it hasn’t worked and it will never work.

People today eat more food than ever and eat more frequently than ever. Despite (or because of) this, the problems of metabolism, overweight and blood sugar irregularities are Read More...worse than ever. The rates of obesity and overweight are climbing, diabetes is epidemic and chronic tiredness is universal.

It is no exaggeration to say that western society is eating itself into a stupor, chronic illness and an early grave, in that order.

Understanding Metabolism: Anabolism and Catabolism

Metabolism is the balance between two biological processes within the body called anabolism and catabolism.

On the one hand the body has to be continually renewed. New tissues, including the skin, the gut, bones and so on are continually rebuilding. This process is called anabolism. You have heard of anabolic steroids, which are sometimes taken illegally by athletes to stimulate new tissue growth. Bodybuilders are notorious for taking anabolic steroids to build bigger muscles. Well this is where the word finds its context. Anabolism means building up.

The second process is called catabolism. This is where the body breaks old tissue down, removes waste products and excretes them, a process closely linked to detoxification.

In bones for example, two different types of cell perform these two functions. One bone cell, the osteoclast, clears away old, mottled bone. This process is then followed by the second type of bone cell called an osteoblast, which builds new bone. All body tissues undergo these processes, some more quickly than others. Thus the entire body replaces itself every few years.

The Importance of Catabolism

If our catabolic processes are compromised or inefficient, we become toxic. When the cellular wastes and old, used tissue and materials are not efficiently removed, they accumulate in different parts of the body. Toxaemia results, where these waste products accumulate within the body tissues, fat and blood. This condition of toxaemia has been now officially accepted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in the States in 2001. All sorts of illnesses result from this chronic process, from inflammation to chronic disease to premature ageing.

It is what we want to avoid if we wish to live a healthier, more energetic, disease-free, and of course, long life.

So what Does Snacking Have to Do with Catabolism?

When we eat, and this includes snacking, we promote anabolism, or building up, and we temporarily inhibit the process of catabolism. We divert energy away from the catabolic or clearing processes of the body and focus the body’s energy on building up.

When we do not eat, we rest our digestive system and promote detoxification and catabolism. This helps keep our bodies cleaner and less toxic, allowing our bodies to remove wastes and detoxify materials which otherwise could cause unwanted health issues.

To further illustrate this, it is why we often might notice a slightly off breath upon arising in the morning. This is because we have spent a number of hours (hopefully) not eating, while asleep, and this allows the body the necessary rest to initiate its catabolic and detoxification processes. Not only is our breath stronger, but our urine is also a little darker in colour, a result of the kidneys having extra energy to help detoxify our blood.

It is also why we lose our appetite when sick, feverish, very stressed or exhausted. This is called anorexia, meaning lack of appetite. It has important survival value. Animals and young children automatically do it, but many adults and doctors encourage the opposite, which is to eat “to keep your strength up”. Such foolish advice has literally killed countless people.

Eat and Then Don’t Eat!

It is best to eat and then go without eating. No snacking. Wait until the next meal and you will enjoy that meal with a genuine hunger. You will relish the food. Because of this, your genuine hunger will allow better digestion because the digestive enzymes and organs have had a rest, a catabolic rest. The few hours away from all food allows our bodies to focus on detoxifying or cleaning the system. The body becomes less toxic, cleaner and lighter. Our normal and healthy weight is more easily attained.

Many people are on an “eat-all-day- diet. They are forever eating and drinking. Snacking is engaged in frequently. The problem is they are not truly hungry. They are governed by what Dr Joel Fuhrman calls “toxic hunger” in his books Eat to Live and Fasting and Eating for Health. This toxic hunger is not true hunger, but is characterised by a feeling of weakness or discomfort, headaches, light-headedness, tummy rumblings and emptiness, which the person mistakenly interprets as hunger. It is really a symphony of withdrawal symptoms from food addiction. Eating then relieves the discomfort until shortly after, when more eating is engaged in, perpetuating a cycle which is ruinous to health.

To eat and snack regularly this way is to invite trouble: indigestion, reflux, overweight, headaches, fatigue, nausea and later on more serious problems.

True Hunger:

True hunger is felt in the mouth and throat, not in the stomach. It is associated with salivation. It is not accompanied by any form of pain or discomfort.

Those in excellent health can miss a meal completely and still feel neutral: not incapacitated by discomfort or weakness. They just feel “hungry”. They go to their meal feeling energetic but “ready to eat”.

In fact, the Native American Indians had a saying: “the hungry dog hunts best!”. When hungry, it had great energy and alertness, necessary for its continued survival.

Science Proves Snacking Shortens Life ( At least in Rats):

The National Institutes on Ageing conducted a study published in Science Magazine in August 2002, where they fed 2 groups of rats 7,500 calories each per week.

Group 1 was fed regularly throughout the day (snacking), while Group 2 was fed only 3 times per day (non-snacking). At the end of the week both groups had consumed the same food and the same calories.

At the end of the study, Group 2 rats (non-snacking) significantly outlived the Group 1 (snacking) rats.

If Not Hungry, Don’t Eat

It goes without saying that we should not eat if we are sick or unwell. It also applies to us when we are not genuinely hungry. The fact that we are not hungry simply means our body has no need for food at the time. To eat because of someone’s mistaken opinion is to overburden the body and increase toxaemia.

There is no adverse consequence to missing a meal when not hungry. The opposite is true. There is great benefit. You will set in motion greater catabolic activities which facilitate enhanced detoxification processes. Just like breakfast means “break- fast”, so periods of time between meals represent a form of mini-fast, and its plethora of biological benefits. For better health, do not snack routinely. The occasional transgression is not a problem, it is when snacking becomes a routine, habitual part of our lifestyle.

One Exception:

Elite athletes engaging in high-intensity or ultra-endurance sports and training might need to modify this principle, as their routines may require the judicious use of high-nutrient snacks. Such athletes represent only a fraction of the population, however.

For the average person not engaged in ultra-endurance sport, it is best to eat and then go without eating.

Your health will only improve.

The Nutrition Revolution

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
In the 1970’s Nathan Pritikin proved that atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) could be reversed by appropriate dietary change. He himself had suffered inoperable atherosclerosis (heart disease) when 39 but had changed his diet after much personal research.
After his death decades after diagnosis, his autopsy (footnote1) showed arteries as clear as a teenagers’. This was the first conclusive medical proof that artery blockages could be reversed by diet.
The last 40 years has seen great advances in our nutritional understanding & knowledge.
However, at the same time, we have witnessed the popularity of many dangerous diets, like the Read More...Atkins diet, the South Beach Diet & the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. The latter diet was so harshly criticised by Rosemary Stanton, the foremost dietitian in Australia, that she appealed to the then Prime Minister John Howard in a public letter, to pull all these books from the libraries, so damaging was the books dietary advice.
So why is there so much confusion about Nutrition & Health?
The problem is twofold. One is financial. When powerful industries promote foods & diets, quite often the first casualty is the truth & the second is the unsuspecting consumer, who pays for following such advice with their health & sometimes their life.
The second problem comes from the weight loss industry. Any number of diets & eating plans will lose weight. Because a dietary program causes weight loss, doesn’t make it necessarily healthy.
I have researched all the major nutritional advances that have been made over the past 100 years, & particularly the nutritional movements in the past 40. All the latest you- beaut diets get my close scrutiny. Sneaking a diet past me is like sneaking a sun rise past a rooster!
I have studied this subject extensively & impartially for over 30 years. Some nutritional programs have been excellent. From Dr Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease in 1990 to Dr Caldwell Esselstyn’s work in 2007 ( President Bill Clinton attributes Esselstyn’s program to his remarkable health & cardio-vascular improvement & weight loss over the past 18 months), to Dr Neal Barnard’s Reverse Diabetes Diet in 2007, from the Lupus Recovery Diet by Jill Harrington to The China Study by Professor T. Colin Campbell to Dr Joel Fuhrman’s wonderful Nutritarian Program, they all have much to offer. Golfer Phil Mickelson adopted the same food principles to overcome his auto-immune disease, which threatened his career.
During this time I have advised thousands of people with all sorts of illnesses on nutritional improvement & have seen often breathtaking results.
I have combined the best of all these breakthroughs & added the one thing missing in all of them. This missing ingredient is often the difference between good results & spectacular results.
By adopting these principles, & by implementing this missing ingredient, we have witnessed reversal of such serious conditions as type 2 diabetes, asthma, CFS, fibromyalgia, auto-immune diseases, angina & atherosclerosis, high cholesterol & blood pressure, migraines, arthritis & others. As a plus, people lose weight, sleep better, feel more energetic & experience less anxiety. It is not uncommon for people to lose 10kgs in 3 weeks, without eating less, without becoming a vegetarian, without counting calories or buying expensive supplements. They age more slowly! If undergoing cancer treatment, they experience far less discomfort from the treatments, often surprising their oncologists. They also give themselves a better chance of recovering from cancer.
References: New England Journal of Medicine, July, 1985