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Category: Paleo Diet

  • Boyfriend and Girlfriend Outfit of the Day

  • Does the Fasting Mimicking Diet Live Up to the Hype?

    Post From https://www.marksdailyapple.com/does-the-fasting-mimicking-diet-live-up-to-the-hype/

    Inline_FastingValter Longo is a leading fasting researcher. Since the early 2000s, he’s been one of the top guys running legitimate fasting studies in cancer patients, regular people, and, of course, rodents. He’s gotten great results, elucidating the idea that fasting causes human cells and tissues to enter “survival mode” which allowed them to survive the withering effects of cancer treatment. I’ve cited many of his studies in previous posts.

    Several years ago, he came up with an “easier” way to induce the fasting effect in people: the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD). Instead of having people skip food altogether—which may not sound crazy to readers of this blog, but probably does to most people—he designed a low-calorie 5-day diet for people to follow at periodic points throughout the year. Longo thinks the FMD is the best way for people to reduce their risk of aging-related diseases, extend lifespan, and live healthier, longer lives. It’s designed to give cancer patients and other people access to the benefits without the mental deprivation that often accompanies true fasting.

    The 5-day FMD is a low-protein, high-moderate-carb, moderate-fat diet.

    The first day is 1090 calories, with 10% from protein (27 grams), 56% from fat (68 grams), and 34% from carbohydrates (93 grams).

    The next four days are 725 calories, with 9% protein (16 grams), 44% fat (35 grams), and 47% carbohydrates (85 grams).

    Most of the fat is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. The protein is plant-based. The carbs come from nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains.

    He even came up with a shelf-stable package of FMD food called ProLon. Instead of weighing and measuring your carrots and mac nuts and olives, you could just buy the 5-day supply of dry food and be on your merry way.

    It’s certainly an attractive idea—a shortcut to fasting.

    Does it live up to the hype? Does it truly improve lifespan in humans?

    There’s certainly nothing wrong with it. Let’s get that off the table. It’s a fine idea. Certainly better than what most people do.

    I just don’t know if it offers unique benefits to healthy people interested in extending their lives that other eating plans, like keto or Primal or intermittent fasting, don’t offer.

    Let’s take a look at some of those benefits.

    In rodents, the FMD has been shown to do some pretty cool things:

    • Improve lipids numbers.
    • Reduce body weight (and fat).
    • Activate autophagy.
    • Rejuvenate damaged organs, like the pancreas in type 1 diabetes.
    • Reduce cancer occurrence.
    • Extend life.

    The one human trial, done last year, also got positive results.

    • Improved lipids.
    • Reduced body fat and body weight.
    • Lower blood pressure.
    • Lower fasting glucose.
    • Reduced CRP, a marker of inflammation.
    • Reduced IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor.

    But there are some issues with the human study.

    The subjects weren’t quite healthy at baseline. They were “generally” healthy, and there’s a difference. Over half were obese or overweight. The average body fat percentage was 34%. No one was about to keel over, but these weren’t lean, athletic types.

    We don’t quite know what they ate before starting the trial, but the average American doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to dietary quality. They may very well have been going from a standard American diet full of junk food to the healthier approach promoted by the researchers.

    They got healthier. They lost weight and body fat. Their biomarkers improved, suggesting a reduction in risk for some of the diseases that characterize aging. That’s real. But it’s also not unique to the fasting mimicking diet.

    Furthermore, the people who were the most overweight and unhealthy at baseline reaped the greatest benefits. The lean, healthy people saw fewer benefits, which is understandable—they had fewer problems to solve.

    The meatiest results came in rodent studies. The human study shows that overweight and obese folks can really benefit from the proprietary fasting mimicking diet, but that’s about it. It doesn’t show increased lifespan (study was too short). It doesn’t show organ rejuvenation (didn’t measure). It doesn’t show reversal of type 2 diabetes (didn’t try). All those things could very well happen in humans, and I wouldn’t be surprised—but for the time being, those effects have only been shown in rodents. We are not rodents, as I’ve made explicitly clear before and you can hopefully surmise from your own lived experience.

    I see another major problem to Longo’s approach and the crux of his argument: It’s predicated on the idea that lower IGF-1 is a Good Thing.

    Older folks with lower IGF-1 levels have a lower risk of cancer. That’s true. That’s important, assuming the connection is causal. There’s good reason to believe that it is.

    IGF-1 participates in the etiology of ovarian cancer, is involved in breast cancer, helps sustain cancer cell viability, and affects the prognosis of non-small-cell lung cancer, just to name a few. As a growth-promoter, IGF-1 has the potential to promote the growth of cancer cells.

    But IGF-1 levels also have a curious association with all-cause mortality. It’s U-shaped, meaning both super low levels and super high levels are linked to increased mortality risk, and that there’s a sweet spot somewhere between where IGF-1 is helping, not hurting. Lower isn’t always better. Somewhere in the middle is the best for longevity.

    And for quality of life and overall health, IGF-1 does some good things after all. We don’t manufacture it in order to kill ourselves.

    Resistance training, for example, spikes IGF-1. The increase in IGF-1 actually mediates the increase in strength—the beneficial adaptation to the training. Is Longo or any other longevity researcher going to suggest that lifting weights is bad for lifespan and health? (Oh, I’m sure there’s someone…)

    IGF-1 counters age-related muscle wasting. I can’t think of a more important physical characteristic for older adults than lean muscle mass.

    IGF-1 builds bone strength. Older women with higher IGF-1 levels have stronger bones, and IGF-1 is necessary for bone formation. This goes hand in hand with increasing muscle strength, as resistance training famously builds both muscle and bone.

    IGF-1 is necessary for metabolic health. When you inject type 2 diabetic patients with IGF-1, their blood sugar drops, insulin sensitivity increases, and lipids improve.

    Dying from cancer is awful. Dying in general, from any number of other maladies, is also bad. We can all agree that we want less of both types of death. We also want good muscle strength, bone mass, metabolic function, and all the rest.

    Perhaps I’ve come off a bit too harsh on FMD. I don’t intend to. Longo is a great researcher, and the fasting mimicking diet obviously works. Where I take issue is the assertion that it is uniquely beneficial for longevity and health, or that “lower IGF-1” is what we should all be striving for. That simply hasn’t been proven. It may be true.—but I suspect the reality is far more complex than that.

    Thanks for reading, folks. Take care, and be sure to let me know what you think about the FMD down below!

    The post Does the Fasting Mimicking Diet Live Up to the Hype? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

  • 10 Basic Human Skills the Younger Generation Isn’t Learning

    Post From https://www.marksdailyapple.com/10-basic-human-skills-the-younger-generation-isnt-learning/

    Inline_Skills_Kids_MissingThere are many reasons to be thankful for the cushy existence modernity affords us. War and other extenuating circumstances aside, you probably don’t fear for your life on a daily basis. You have clean water to drink. Food is widely available, and it’s affordable. You survived infancy, childhood, and adolescence, which is quite special on a historical scale.

    But there are downsides. Food has gone industrial. We increasingly live our lives in the digital realm and ignore the physical. Perhaps the most recent change relative to that shift has been the physical neutering of our kids. This has happened more broadly across all ages as countries shift away from manual labor toward more of an information economy, but it’s become incredibly pronounced in the generation coming up. At least when I grew up kids still wandered the streets in search of adventure, testing themselves out physically, undergoing mental and physical challenges, breaking bones and straining muscles, and learning about movement from the best teacher of all—hands on experience. Now? The lucky ones will get gymnastics or martial arts or dance training a couple days a week. But most languish indoors, prevented from the kind of free-form exploratory play human children have enjoyed for thousands of generations.

    What are they losing? What physical skills —basic human abilities—will they lack?

    Throwing

    The recent complaint from an Army general illustrates this nicely: New recruits are so terrible at throwing grenades that they’ve nixed the requirement for graduation altogether. And it’s not just a strength thing, although I’d imagine that’s often a problem. It’s a technique thing. They didn’t grow up throwing.

    Throwing on a regular basis when your brain is still developing establishes stronger neural pathways that persist into adulthood. It’s why learning languages and riding bikes “sticks” more when you do it as a kid. Throwing is no different.

    Throwing is a human universal. Hell, the ability to lead a target, to subconsciously triangulate all the variables and figure out where to throw in order to hit the running antelope (or streaking wide receiver) is uniquely human. It may have made being human possible. We have those long arms, hyper mobile shoulders, upright postures, big brains, and powerful posterior chains that allow us to generate incredible power on and accuracy with our projectiles.

    Weighted Carries

    Twenty thousand years ago, we carried foraged and hunted food incredible distances on a regular basis. Two thousand years ago, we wore a hundred pounds of kit on months-long military campaigns. One hundred years ago, we carried slop out to the hogs and pitched hay bales. Fifty years ago, I lugged wheelbarrows of dirt around the yard helping my dad with the garden.

    Today, kids carry their mandatory iPad to school and complain when Mom or Dad tries to get them to help with yard work.

    Balancing

    The world is unstable. Things teeter. They get wet and slippery. Sometimes the walking surface is too narrow for our feet, or for more than one foot at a time. We need to be able to traverse it safely and effectively.

    Ideally, kids should seek out these unstable, narrow surfaces. Park bench? They should hop on and walk along the back. Curb? Way better than a sidewalk. But their attention is elsewhere, and I think it’ll come back to bite them in the future.

    Climbing

    I did a lot of impromptu climbing as a kid. And not just large rocks, trees, and mountains. I’d climb fences, so many fences. There were multiple ways to scale a chain link fence. My favorite was going head first and flipping over onto my feet followed closely by perching along the top and jumping down.

    Can’t recall the last time I saw a kid climb a fence, let alone a tree. Climbing gyms are growing, so there’s a real desire for it. Rock climbing is a different beast though. It’s more methodical and strategic. What I’m interested in is the ability and confidence to just get over barriers. You see an obstacle. You climb it, without really thinking or planning. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

    Jumping

    Jumping is an act of faith. In your own abilities. In the stability of the landing surface.

    You can see it in kids who’ve never quite jumped before. They approach the edge, look down, look over at you, look back down. They pump their bodies, priming for the jump. Their eyes get a glint of anticipation. They know it’s a big thing, the first jump. A momentous occasion. Then they leap, and it works, and they’re hooked. They’re believers.

    A jump is an explosive hip extension, utilizing the glutes and hamstrings. You know, the muscle groups that grow flabby and atrophied when we sit down all the time.

    Landing

    The most important part of jumping is the landing. Landing correctly protects your joints from injury and allows you to smoothly transition into the next movement (running, jumping again, dodging). It’s a foundational skill for most sports and non-sport athletic endeavors, like dancing or parkour.

    How many broken hips, sprained ankles, and knee injuries are coming down the line for future adults who never learned how to land a simple jump?

    Rock Scrambling

    Bouldering is great and all. Rock climbing is fun. But my favorite thing to do on and around large deposits of rocks and minerals is scramble up and down them. You go without any equipment. No special shoes. No fanny pack full of chalk. No ropes. And unlike the insane free climbers, no real risk of death and dismemberment.

    Rock scrambles get you into situations hairy enough to get your blood pumping and force you to reckon with your own mortality, but manageable enough that you can usually get out without adult assistance. That’s a huge thing for kids to experience—the realization that life can be dangerous and risky while still worth doing.

    Creek Walking

    One of my favorite pastimes as a kid was walking up and down creeks by jumping from rock to rock, making sure never to touch ground. We’d sometimes do creeks miles long this way. This is no easy task. You have to be willing to go barefoot (or sacrifice grip and stability and risk getting your shoes filthy). The rocks are slippery and mossy. The water’s cold. And you have to actually go to a functioning creek.

    Creek walking forces focus. You can’t sleepwalk your way through a creek walk. Every step is different, presents new challenges. It’s mentally and physically draining.

    Stamina

    I can’t tell you the number of gangly 5-year-olds I’ve seen being carted around in strollers, legs hanging over the side, face craned toward the tablet in their laps, oblivious to the world occurring around them. Or the kids whining about how “their legs hurt.” One study from 2013 found that today’s kids take a minute and a half longer to run a mile than kids of the same age from 30-40 years ago. How do you think their endurance will be as adults?

    The reason why is simple. Kids have fewer opportunities and inclinations to walk. As mentioned earlier, kids aren’t roaming around neighborhoods like they used to. They’re not putting in the miles. The rise of smartphones has also contributed. If part of your daily allotment of hours is dedicated to something entirely novel on the historical timeline—staring into a handheld electronic device—you will necessarily have fewer hours available to do physical things like walking

    Strength

    Kids are more likely now to be weaklings than they were twenty years ago. Between 1998 and 2008, ten-year-olds in one British town suffered huge losses in strength:

    • 27% fewer situps
    • Arm strength dropped by 26%, grip strength by 7%
    • 10% of kids couldn’t hang from a bar, compared to just 5% in 1998

    Who wants to bet the problem is even worse today?

    This is a problem. Child weaklings grow up to be adult weaklings. Their physical inabilities perpetuate themselves. If physical movement isn’t rewarding because you’re bad at it, get winded easily, and fail at the skills required to excel, you’re less likely to pursue it into adulthood. That’s when the health issues mount, your appearance declines, and things fall apart. A society of physically inept and weak people cannot stand for long.

    You don’t “need” these skills to live in today’s world. That’s the whole point, in fact: Kids are coming into adulthood never having needed to learn how to do this stuff. But being able to jump, balance, throw, climb, and walk while carrying heavy loads makes life easier, more enjoyable, and more rewarding. It opens doors. The disappearance of these skills is a tragedy.

    But it’s fixable. I’m not calling for rigorous training sessions. Humans are built to do these things. They just have to do them.

    What can we do to fix the problem? Are there any other skills today’s younger generations just aren’t developing?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. Take care, everyone.

    damagecontrol_640x80

    The post 10 Basic Human Skills the Younger Generation Isn’t Learning appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

  • Noelle Tarr – Women’s Strength Summit (Highlights)

  • Paleo Curried Meat Pies

    Post From https://nomnompaleo.com/paleo-curried-meat-pies

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Ready to make some Paleo Curried Meat Pies—a.k.a. better-for-you grain-free hot pockets?

    Longtime Nomsters know that I don’t publish a lot of paleo baking recipes—mostly because I know I’ll gobble up all my test batches with abandon. But once I’ve tasted something that I really, really, really want to make grain-free, I’ll make a rare exception to my no-baking rule. And then, I go nuts, experimenting over and over again ’til I crack the code.

    One of the dishes that have gotten this treatment is my mom’s curried meat pies. When I was a kid, my mom used to bake up these buttery hand pies stuffed with a fragrant, curried ground beef filling. These portable pies were my first introduction to fusion food—flaky and savory pastries filled with Indian curry-spiced meat by way of a Chinese mommy. This type of melting pot cuisine is totally my jam.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    If you’ve been checking out my Instagram Stories, you know I’ve been experimenting for weeks. Now, at long last, I think I’ve succeeded in creating a portable meat pie that’s both reminiscent of my mom’s, but also completely nut-free and grain-free. These unfussy hand pies are a breeze to throw together—especially when stuffed with leftover Spiced Keema. Sure, they’re pretty rustic looking (a.k.a. kinda ugly), but that’s part of their charm!

    No leftover Spiced Keema? I’ve filled these pies with leftover Pot Sticker Stir-Fry, Instant Pot Spicy Pineapple Pork, and basically whatever leftover cooked protein I had sitting in my fridge. You can make a variety of homemade hot pockets with whatever you have on hand as long as the filling isn’t too wet. These pies freeze and reheat well, too, so you can make them ahead and stock ’em in your freezer.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    P.S.—I’ll say it again: I’m no paleo baking expert, so before you ask, let me just tell you now that I have no idea what happens if you decide to substitute another flour for the cassava flour or arrowroot flour. If you successfully experiment with other flours or fats, please let us all know in the comments so we can benefit from your baking prowess!

    Makes 18 pies

    Ingredients:

    Equipment:

    Method:

    Preheat the oven to 400° F with the rack in the middle position. Measure out the cassava flour, arrowroot powder, kosher salt, and ground turmeric into a large bowl. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Whisk to combine.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Add the ghee and two eggs to the dry mixture. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Mix well with your hands until the dough is crumbly and the the ghee and egg are well incorporated.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Slowly add the water a little at a time, and knead well until a pliable dough forms.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    If the dough feels too sticky, you can add a little more cassava flour. Conversely, if it feels too dry and crumbly, add a little more water, kneading in a few drops at a time. If the dough feels overly soft and delicate, cover it in a bowl and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes so you can work with it more easily.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Next, grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough so that it’s about ⅛-inch thick. The dough can be a little sticky, so feel free to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. (A dough scraper can also be very helpful in pulling the dough off the work surface.)

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Use a 4½-inch round stainless steel cutter to punch out the dough rounds.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Gather up the dough outside the circle cut-outs, and use it to form another ball of dough. Roll out this dough ball to ⅛-inch thickness, and punch out more dough rounds. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Repeat until you can’t form any more rounds. You should end up with about 18 dough rounds.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Add 2 tablespoons of chilled leftover Spiced Keema

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    …to each circle of dough. Fold the dough over the top and pinch the edges together with your fingers. Don’t overfill the pies or you won’t be able to seal them!  Arrange the meat pies on two rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re evenly spaced. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl…

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    …and brush the egg wash over the top of the meat pies on one (not both!) of the trays. Use a sharp paring knife to cut three slits on the top of each pie. Cover the other tray of pies with plastic wrap or a clean towel—you don’t want the pies to dry out while the other tray is in the oven. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Pop the first tray of pies (the ones with the egg wash applied) in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray 180° and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until the tops are golden brown. 

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Place the pies on a wire rack to cool to room temperature (or, at the very least, to a temperature that won’t burn off the roof of your mouth).

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Right before the second batch of pies goes in the oven, brush on the egg wash, and cut three slits into each pie. Bake off the remaining pies per the instructions above and…voila!

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    You can keep these hand pies in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. They can be reheated in a toaster oven set to 350°F for about 8-10 minutes from the fridge, or 10-15 minutes straight from the freezer.

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Heat ’em up and take them with you!

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com

    Now, who’s ready to make some paleo hot pockets?

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies by Michelle Tam / Nom Nom Paleo https://nomnompaleo.com


    Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!

    Recipe IndexNom Nom Paleo CookbooksNom Nom Paleo App

    PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies

    Prep 5 mins

    Cook 1 hour, 25 mins

    Total 1 hour, 30 mins

    Author Michelle Tam

    Yield 18 hand pies

    Paleo Curried Meat Pies, a.k.a. better-for-you grain-free hot pockets, are a simple, make-ahead, freezer-friendly, portable dish that you can easily make with leftovers! 

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 400° F with the rack in the middle position. Measure out the cassava flour, arrowroot powder, kosher salt, and ground turmeric into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
    2. Add the ghee and two eggs to the dry mixture. Mix well with your hands until the dough is crumbly and the the ghee and egg are well incorporated.
    3. Slowly add the water a little at a time, and knead well until a pliable dough forms. If the dough feels too sticky, you can add a little more cassava flour. Conversely, if it feels too dry and crumbly, add a little more water, kneading in a few drops at a time. If the dough feels overly soft and delicate, cover it in a bowl and refrigerate it for about 30 minutes so you can work with it more easily.
    4. Next, grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough so that it’s about ⅛-inch thick. The dough can be a little sticky, so feel free to roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. (A dough scraper can also be very helpful in pulling the dough off the work surface.)
    5. Use a 4½-inch round stainless steel cutter to punch out the dough rounds.
    6. Gather up the dough outside the circle cut-outs, and use it to form another ball of dough. Roll out this dough ball to ⅛-inch thickness, and punch out more dough rounds. Repeat until you can’t form any more rounds. You should end up with about 18 dough rounds.
    7. Add 2 tablespoons of chilled leftover Spiced Keema to each circle of dough. Fold the dough over the top and pinch the edges together with your fingers. Don’t overfill the pies or you won’t be able to seal them!  Arrange the meat pies on two rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper, making sure they’re evenly spaced. 
    8. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush the egg wash over the top of the meat pies on one (not both!) of the trays. Use a sharp paring knife to cut three slits on the top of each pie. Cover the other tray of pies with plastic wrap or a clean towel—you don’t want the pies to dry out while the other tray is in the oven. 
    9. Pop the first tray of pies (the ones with the egg wash applied) in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray 180° and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until the tops are golden brown. 
    10. Place the pies on a wire rack to cool to room temperature (or, at the very least, to a temperature that won’t burn off the roof of your mouth). 
    11. Right before the second batch of pies goes in the oven, brush on the egg wash, and cut three slits into each pie. Bake off the remaining pies per the instructions above and…voila!
    12. You can keep these hand pies in a sealed container in the fridge for about 4 days or freeze them for up to 4 months. They can be reheated in a toaster oven set to 350°F for about 8-10 minutes from the fridge, or 10-15 minutes straight from the freezer.

    Notes

    No leftover Spiced Keema? I’ve filled these pies with leftover Pot Sticker Stir-Fry, Instant Pot Spicy Pineapple Pork, and basically whatever leftover cooked protein I had sitting in my fridge. You can make a variety of homemade hot pockets with whatever you have on hand as long as the filling isn’t too wet. These pies freeze and reheat well, too, so you can make them ahead and stock ’em in your freezer.

    Courses Lunch

    Cuisine Portable, Make-Ahead, Freezer-friendly, Paleo, Grain-free, Snack,

    The post Paleo Curried Meat Pies appeared first on Nom Nom Paleo®.

  • High cholesterol? CVD risk? It might be your thyroid

    Post From https://chriskresser.com/high-cholesterol-cvd-risk-it-might-be-your-thyroid/

    I’ve written enough articles on thyroid health to fill an entire e-book: all about low T3 syndrome, five thyroid patterns that won’t show up on standard lab tests, the little-known cause of hypothyroidism, and the gut–thyroid connection.

    Thyroid hormone regulates a great deal of metabolism, and virtually every cell in the body has a receptor for thyroid hormone. In a recent podcast, I mentioned poor thyroid function as one of the six underlying causes of high cholesterol. In this article, I’ll discuss exactly how your thyroid impacts lipid metabolism, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. First, though, a quick review of the major hormones involved.

    A quick review of thyroid physiology and lab panels

    The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front of the neck. It receives a hormone signal from the pituitary and secretes other hormones into the bloodstream. You might be familiar with these hormones, which are included in a full thyroid panel:

    Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): This hormone is released by the pituitary gland and reflects the body’s need for thyroid hormone. This means that when TSH is high, not enough thyroid hormone is being produced (hypothyroidism). When TSH is low, there is more than enough thyroid hormone in the body (hyperthyroidism).

    Do you have heart disease or high cholesterol? You might want to get your thyroid checked

    Thyroxine (T4): The thyroid gland releases large amounts of this largely inactive form of thyroid hormone, which must be converted into the more active T3 by deiodinase enzymes. Low amounts of T4 may indicate hypothyroidism; high amounts may indicate hyperthyroidism.

    Triiodothyronine (T3): This is the active form of thyroid hormone, secreted in small amounts by the thyroid gland and formed from the conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the primary thyroid hormone that will act on cells all over the body to regulate metabolism. Low amounts of T3 may indicate hypothyroidism or low T3 syndrome; high amounts indicate hyperthyroidism.

    If thyroid medication is given for hypothyroidism, it is usually in the form of T4, T3, or a combination of the two.

    The association between thyroid hormone levels and cholesterol

    The association between thyroid function and cholesterol has been known for quite some time. As early as 1934, it was recognized that “the concentration of blood cholesterol is usually raised in hypothyroidism, and lowered slightly in hyperthyroidism” (1). Today, a PubMed search for thyroid and cholesterol yields more than 3,000 articles—yet few people, and even few doctors, are aware of how various thyroid conditions can impact cholesterol levels.

    Let’s review the four major types and how they impact basic cholesterol measurements:

    Hypothyroidism: People with an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, often have increased levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (2) and may have elevated triglyceride levels as well (3). Thyroid medication can significantly improve lipid profiles. A study in newly diagnosed hypothyroid patients found that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels decreased after T4 treatment. Those with higher TSH levels (indicating a greater need for thyroid hormone and a greater degree of hypothyroidism) at baseline saw a more dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels with T4 therapy (4).

    Subclinical hypothyroidism: Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is characterized by elevated serum TSH with normal levels of free T4 and free T3. Subclinical hypothyroidism is far more common than overt hypothyroidism and may affect up to 9 percent of the population (5). Studies are mixed on the effect of subclinical hypothyroidism on lipid profiles, but even within the normal range of values, increasing TSH is associated with an increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (6, 7). One systematic review found that T4 substitution therapy on average resulted in an eight mg/dL decrease in total cholesterol and a 10 mg/dL decrease in LDL cholesterol in people with subclinical hypothyroidism (8).

    Thyroid autoimmunity: Autoimmunity is a major cause of hypothyroidism. An estimated 90 percent of people with underactive thyroid have autoimmune thyroiditis, also known as Hashimoto’s disease. People with high-normal TSH levels that have positive anti-thyroid antibodies are even more likely to have abnormal cholesterol levels. On the bright side, their cholesterol levels are more likely to respond to thyroid medication (9).

    Hyperthyroidism: While not as common, hyperthyroidism is associated with low levels of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol (10, 11). While this may seem like a good thing, low blood cholesterol has been associated with altered cell membrane function, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and increased mortality (12, 13, 14).

    How the thyroid regulates lipid metabolism

    Fair warning, this section contains the nitty gritty details of lipid metabolism. If you’re not in the mood for a physiology lesson, you can skip on to the next section!

    Thyroid hormones regulate cholesterol synthesis

    You may have heard that dietary cholesterol doesn’t have much impact on blood levels of cholesterol. This is because cholesterol is also synthesized by the liver. This process is tightly regulated by several hormones, including thyroid hormones. TSH increases the expression and activity of an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase, which controls the rate of cholesterol synthesis (15). This means that hypothyroidism increases the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver. This cholesterol is then packaged with triglycerides into VLDL particles, which are shipped out to the bloodstream.

    Thyroid hormones affect lipoprotein lipase (LPL)

    VLDL particles travel through the bloodstream until they reach the small blood vessel beds, where they encounter an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL). This enzyme breaks down the triglycerides in the VLDL particle into fatty acids, which are taken up by adipose, heart, and muscle cells. T3 stimulates LPL to increase this breakdown of triglyceride-rich VLDL (16). Eventually, the cholesterol content of the lipoprotein becomes higher than the triglyceride content, and these particles become LDL.

    Thyroid hormones increase LDL particle uptake

    LDL particles circulate around in the blood until they bind to LDL receptors. This binding triggers the capturing of LDL particles into the cell. There, the LDL particles are degraded and the contents used for cell membrane structure or converted to other steroid hormones. Through several mechanisms, T3 increases the expression of LDL receptors (17, 18). This reduces the amount of time that LDL particles spend circulating in the blood and the total number of LDL particles in the blood.

    Thyroid hormones affect LDL particle oxidation

    Excess LDL particles in the blood can cause some particles to “crash” into the blood vessel wall and be taken into the inner lining of the blood vessel. Once there, the LDL particles can become oxidized, which triggers inflammation and is thought to be the major event initiating the formation of arterial plaque. T3 acts as a free radical scavenger and may protect LDL from oxidation (19). However, high free T4 can also enhance LDL oxidation (20). Thus, both hypo- and hyperthyroidism can lead to LDL oxidation.

    The dangers of statins in people with thyroid dysfunction

    If you’ve been following my work for a while, you probably know my opinion of statin drugs. Here are just a few of the articles I’ve written on statins:

    But it turns out that statin use is particularly concerning when the cause of high cholesterol is poor thyroid function. This is due to the effects of statins on creatine kinase levels.

    Creatine kinase (CK) is an enzyme expressed in many different tissues throughout the body, though it’s probably most well-known for its action in muscle cells. CK is responsible for adding a phosphate to creatine to form phosphocreatine, which serves as an energy reservoir and allows for the quick release of energy in times of need.

    Both statins and hypothyroidism result in CK release into the blood, and the cumulative effect is severe CK elevation (21, 22). This can potentially amplify the adverse side effects of statins. Statins can cause a variety of skeletal muscle problems, including damage and inflammation to the muscle. Based on several case reports, researchers have speculated that the use of lipid-lowering agents in hypothyroid patients may severely increase the risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis (23, 24).

    Yet, in reviewing the relevant medical records of 77 patients treated receiving statins in a hospital, a team of medical researchers discovered that only 23 percent of patients had received a thyroid panel before beginning statin treatment. Worse yet, 12 percent of patients with overt hypothyroidism received statins without receiving a thyroid panel or hypothyroid diagnosis (21).

    The authors commented on their findings, emphasizing the need for routine thyroid screening in patients with lipid abnormalities:

    “We must not begin and continue to use these drugs without checking the possibility of hypothyroidism.” (21).

    Statin drug information in Japan and the UK now includes warnings that emphasize the need for careful use in patients with hypothyroidism. The same cannot be said for the United States or in other countries. Thus, it’s very important to exclude other diseases that cause high cholesterol, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and kidney dysfunction, before even considering taking a statin.

    Better markers of cardiovascular risk

    Wait, but I thought cholesterol tests were out—aren’t lipoprotein particle numbers what we really care about?

    Yep. I’ve discussed in several articles and on my podcast why lipoprotein particle numbers are much better predictors of cardiovascular risk than cholesterol levels. However, there are few studies that have assessed the effects of thyroid hormones on lipoprotein particle number, compared to the number of studies that have assessed standard cholesterol measurements. Still, we see similar effects:

    • LDL particle number (LDL-P): Subclinical hypothyroidism has been associated with higher levels of ApoB-100, a surrogate marker for LDL particle number. T4 treatment significantly reduced ApoB-100 levels (25).
    • Oxidized LDL: Decreased thyroid function increases the number of LDL particles and promotes LDL “oxidizability” (26).

    Thyroid health also impacts other cardiovascular risk factors:

    • Blood pressure: Underactive thyroid is strongly associated with hypertension. This is due to both sympathetic and adrenal activation (27). One study of 30 patients with both hypothyroidism and hypertension found that hypertension was reversed in 50 percent of patients after thyroid medication therapy (28).
    • C-reactive protein (CRP): CRP, a marker of inflammation, has been shown to be negatively correlated with levels of free T4 (29). Patients with subclinical hypothyroidism have also been found to have increased CRP (30).
    • Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)): Lp(a) is a measure of how many lipoprotein particles are carrying apolipoprotein A1. Apolipoprotein A1 has a high affinity for oxidized lipids and is thought to be largely based on genetics. Patients with overt hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism have increased Lp(a) (31, 32). Some studies of subclinical hypothyroidism patients suggest that thyroid medication can reduce Lp(a) (33), but others found no significant change (34).
    • Phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2): This is an enzyme that travels largely with LDL particles, is highly pro-inflammatory, and is involved in the development of atherosclerosis (35). Subclinical hypothyroidism subjects have been shown to have higher Lp-PLA2 (36).
    • Homocysteine: Hypothyroidism is associated with increased plasma homocysteine levels (37)
    • Insulin resistance and BMI: Insulin resistance and a high BMI are both positively correlated with low thyroid function (38, 39).

    Conclusion

    I hope I have convinced you that thyroid function plays a major role in lipid metabolism. I can’t tell you the number of patients I have seen in my clinic with lipid abnormalities that had undiagnosed thyroid conditions. Restoring thyroid health by correcting nutrient deficiencies, rebalancing the immune system, and making simple diet and lifestyle changes can often make a major difference in cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk markers. In some cases, thyroid support in the form of medication may also be helpful and is much less harmful than statins.

    Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you have cardiovascular risk factors? When was the last time you had a full thyroid panel? Did you know about the thyroid–cholesterol connection? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Run on Fat (trailer)

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  • 6 Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

    Post From http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/PaleoPlan/~3/5QJZ4uGroSA/

    Evening primrose oil, also known as EPO, is a popular supplement with numerous health claims. But is it as healthy as it seems, and what are the potential health benefits?

    What Is EPO?

    Evening primrose oil is a plant native to North America, which bears yellow flowers that bloom in the evening, hence the name evening primrose oil. EPO is found in the plant’s seeds and is high in essential fatty acids (roughly 25 percent EFAs), meaning they are required and essential for our health, but cannot be made by the body. The seeds of the flower are gathered together and cold pressed to make their oil, which can later be encapsulated to be used as a dietary supplement.

    EPO is a natural source of omega 6 essential fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and linoleic acid (LA), which can: (1,2,3)

    • Promote healthy joints
    • Combat symptoms of PMS
    • Balance gastrointestinal health
    • Support heart health
    • Nourish the skin
    • Protect cell membrane integrity
    • Promote balanced hormones
    • Increase nerve health
    • Improve brain function
    • Support central nervous system health
    • Aid in absorption of fat-soluble vitamins D, E, and K

    EPO is the most researched source of GLA, which can also be found in borage oil, black currant oil, hemp, and spirulina.

    6 Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil

    While EPO has several proven health benefits, it’s especially helpful for these six areas.

    1. Hormone Balance

    Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of hormones, which are required for nearly every metabolic process in the body. Fatty acids found in EPO can help support hormone balance, reduce inflammatory prostaglandins, and even support endocrine disorders such as PCOS, which can impact fertility, ovulation, and the regularity of menstrual cycles.

    EPO also helps to modulate prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are hormone-like chemicals in the body that regulate body processes and help to stimulate others. Prostaglandins have roles in numerous things from normal blood clotting to water retention to even initiating labor in a pregnant woman. There are numerous kinds of prostaglandins, but all of them are needed for healthy body function. Evening primrose oil can help to maintain natural hormone balance through promoting normal prostaglandin levels. (4,5)

    2. Fertility

    EPO has been found to increase cervical mucus and metabolic function, two key factors required for healthy ovulation and menstruation. Without enough cervical fluid, conception can be hindered as sperm has difficulty reaching the cervix to fertilize the egg. Prostaglandin E in particular, which is found in EPO, can help control and regulate hormones that deal with cell growth, which can also be used to help prepare the cervix for labor. (6,7)

    3. PMS and Women’s Health

    EPO is often used for several symptoms associated with PMS, which can include:

    • Breast pain
    • Bloating
    • Water retention
    • Irritability
    • Mood swings
    • Acne

    All of the above symptoms can be related to hormone imbalances, and research has shown that evening primrose oil can help to moderate many of them when taken regularly. EPO should be taken on the first day of the menstrual cycle until ovulation to help ease and prevent severe PMS symptoms later in the cycle. (8,9)

    Evening primrose oil can also help alleviate symptoms associated with menopause, too, making it a valuable nutrient for women’s health.

    4. Healthy Skin

    Gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, is a conditionally essential fatty acid required for skin health. GLA has been shown to support healthy skin and the epidermis, and it can also balance skin issues that are related to hormone imbalances and inflammation.

    Since the skin is the body’s largest organ, it is important to repair and rebuild skin health starting from the inside out and at a cellular level. The omega 6 fatty acids found in EPO can help support hormone regulation, reduce inflammation, improve skin elasticity, and optimize cell membrane structure. EPO has also been used for those suffering from skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, and generalized redness. (10,11,12)

    5. Reducing Inflammation

    Evening primrose oil is a commonly used alternative therapy known to promote balance throughout inflammatory pathways in the body, specifically in the joints. It is best known for its use in the treatment of systemic diseases marked by chronic inflammation, such as atopic dermatitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

    RA can lead to pain and morning stiffness that occurs in the joints and is an autoimmune disease. Research has shown that evening primrose oil can help deal with painful symptoms associated with RA, especially when combined with lifestyle and dietary changes, too. (13,14)

    6. Healthy Hair

    Hair loss is something that is common in both men and women and hormones are largely responsible for hair health. Hormonal causes of hair loss are typically due to the hormone DHT, which is a male hormone that can actually cause hair follicles to shrink, reducing the lifespan of hair and can decrease total hair production.

    When DHT is high, due to excessive amounts of androgens—which are common in women who have PCOS, thyroid issues, or other chronic health problems—hair growth decreases. The essential fatty acids found in EPO can be helpful in fighting against hair loss. (15)

    Should You Take Evening Primrose Oil?

    If you are looking to supplement with EPO, make sure to find a brand that is standardized to around 8 percent gamma-linolenic acid and 72 percent linoleic acid, the two main omega 6 fatty acids found in this seed. As with any supplement, taking a look at the “other ingredients” section is a must, as many of the fillers can end up doing more damage than good. There shouldn’t be fructose, artificial colors, sweeteners, or things like hydrogenated oils added to the capsules or oil.

    Use a high-quality non-GMO evening primrose oil that has reputable third-party certifications and adheres to good manufacturing practices. Look for a brand that has the fatty acid composition broken down for you on the supplement fact panel (for example, 40mg GLA, 295mg LA, and 26mg Oleic Acid).

    If you want to take EPO to help naturally prepare the uterus and cervix to induce labor, start around the 36th week of pregnancy. This is considered safe and effective at dosages around 500mg daily. As you get closer to your due date, you can slowly increase your dosage up to around 1500mg daily. Some people experience mild cases of loose stools, diarrhea, or nausea if the dosage is too much for them, so be aware of how you feel when you take EPO.

    PMS symptoms, such as cramps, mood swings, and headaches can be due to prostaglandin alterations in the body and taking EPO in the morning and the evening can help give relief from some of these symptoms. Start by taking 500mg in the morning and evening during your menstrual cycle, as well as taking the same dosage a week prior to getting your period to help prepare your body.

    Evening primrose oil can be taken in oil or capsule form. EPO does have a slight blood thinning effect and can lower blood pressure, so be sure to consult your doctor if you are taking any other medications which might have interactions.

    Take evening primrose oil with a meal, ideally with some fat, to increase nutrient absorption.

    The post 6 Health Benefits of Evening Primrose Oil appeared first on PaleoPlan.

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