Metabolic Health Boosters
“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.”
Metabolic Health Supplements
Frederik Hetchy from the UCSF Osher Centre for Integrative Medicine states that in order to be familiar with the metabolic syndrome we have to understand or at least have some understanding of something called the glycemic index and insulin resistance.
Moreover to have an understanding of the differences between low carbohydrate versus low-fat diets and what they have to do with longevity and, also to know some of the evidence for whole food diet patterns and health.
OK. When we think about metabolic syndrome, we think there is all this nutrition information coming at us from the media all the time and it goes back and forth to the point where sometimes I feel like I have nutrition whiplash. Then we found out that the trans fats that were in the margarine that we were told by our parents to eat were about the worst toxic thing we could tell people to consume. Did you know that?
Time magazine is shouting out loud to eat butter but then we’re being told by the Harvard School of public health that they don’t really know which is better.
Now, I’m not a doctor or a metaphysician but I’m going to try and go through a little bit more to give you some guidance in how you think about what’s out there in the scientific literature, on how it gets interpreted in the media.
The background for this nutrition science is challenging. We all eat and we all have our own beliefs and preferences and I can tell you that actually in the scientific community I think this affects us as well.
I’m a recovering low-fat diet advocate, I have a strong history of diabetes and prediabetes. My siblings despite exercising and being reasonably eating, have prediabetes. So I start to research nutrition and its effects with regards to diabetes in order to know better.
You know, my own diet follows up pretty every healthy meal. Not because I think everyone should be doing but among other reasons, I have this family history. I think that a lot of people with diabetes probably do need to restrict their carbohydrate intake.
There are some reasons to restrict your carbohydrate when you’re in your diet when you’re training for endurance events so that’s not something I think everyone should do though.
Just an example of how to think about some of the studies that are out there on the literature and part of what gets confusing with nutrition science. A study conducted by De Lorgeril and Salet (2002) published in an article in the premier medical journals regarding vitamin C. Which is great for preventing cardiovascular disease.
The evidence shows that the higher rank of vitamin C level in the body the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. The authors concluded in this article that small increases in fruit and vegetable intake of about one serving per day have encouraging prospects for possible prevention of disease.
In another randomized trial control study they added on top of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene which is essential, vitamin A. They’ve concluded that the placebos tended to be slightly better than vitamins. Although there are evidence of the vitamins preventing cardiovascular disease and if there’s anything those kinds of something going the opposite direction.
So my question is, which study do you trust more? Do you trust studying number one that shows that vitamin C prevents cardiovascular disease or, who think would trust the second study which mixed other vitamins too more?
For instance, a comparison that takes out for the most part all these other factors, you could put were the people getting more or less vitamin C. This is not because they love to exercise more and doing all kinds of other healthy things but that’s because I got given a vitamin C pill instead of a placebo.
OK, this is something to keep in mind when you’re reading diet studies and you’re hearing about it in the media. In general, if it’s a randomized controlled trial, it’s probably more reliable than a lot of other studies.
Now, let me ask you how many people do you think have heard of metabolic syndrome?
This is got several parts:
One part is that you’ve got visceral adiposity or more fat around the abdomen
the second part is that you have a bad high lipoprotein LDL.
On the other hand HDL, cholesterol is good cholesterol. If you have high triglycerides you end up with high blood pressure.
All of these together make up the metabolic syndrome.
The issue here is that metabolic syndrome means that you have a much higher risk of things happening like heart attacks and stroke so why are people developing metabolic syndrome is a critical thing.
Insulin resistance is either diabetes or prediabetes
It is kind of like a key to open up the gates on cell membranes so that glucose can enter and get used. without insulin, glucose doesn’t go into the cell wall when you have insulin resistance.
This block is very sticky and instead of it opening easily after really force it an essential have to use a lot more insulin to get that door open than you would normally.
So what are the consequences of that? A lot including increased information.
A study where it’s showing different levels of haemoglobin A1C that’s a measure of how much glucose you have on average the redline is prediabetes or diabetes. as soon as you start going from normal down to up you start getting a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
For eg. as you’re HbA1C levels go up is pretty much a concern.
I think right now and this is true a lot of the gnosis but actually around the world now there is a huge increase in diabetes, you can check this here
Looking back to 1958 only about 1% of the adult population in the US, and 0.5% in the UK had diabetes were actually up about 8% right now. This is a really more markable change and part of this is probably happening through changes in physical activity and diet.
Let’s look a bit at some real studies that are really in the diet field, looking at randomized controlled trials, which again I think are the most reliable way of looking at what diet makes a difference.
In another study done by Chris Gardner at Stanford aligning the key to weight loss is diet quality. He studied a little over 600 adults who were overweight and wanted to lose weight.
Everyone got one set of instructions with whichever group you were in which was essentially to cut out junk food, no sugar, no sodas, and to cut down refined flours, like white bread and trans fats.
Then they were randomised to one of two groups.
One group, the low-fat group was instructed to eat lots of vegetables but combine it with things like brown rice and beans and things like that and cook in a way that they’re low fat. The other group to eat low carbs, where they also emphasize fresh vegetables but eg the broccoli might be prepared along with parmesan cheese and a lot of olive oil.
They’ve found that after 12 months weight loss was pretty much equal in both groups, slight trend toward the low carbs group doing better but not much. That was probably a substantial difference same on fasting glucose, except that someone surprisingly was better improved. And this is a measure of whether people are likely to go on to diabetes.
They were staying with people without diabetes so that was not an issue but fasting glucose got better in both groups than a little bit more in the low carbohydrate group.
I want to emphasize one point here which is this:
The diet that was low in carbohydrates tried to lower the glycemic index of carbohydrate-rich foods.
This means that the glycemic index is something where you look at given a certain amount of carbohydrate e.g. 50 grams, how much does your blood sugar go up and how quickly.
Beans and the bread
The beans have a lower glycemic index with a ratio between glucose and beans and that is your glycemic index multiplied by 100 % this gives you the glycemic index.
Looking at that white bread any guess about what the glycemic index is going to be 100. It’s lower than glucose but it’s not a lot lower.
This is actually a slightly older variety of wheat because it doesn’t actually have as much gluten in it as the white one
Wholegrain has not been ground into flour so this is used a lot in different Mediterranean cooking.
The index here it’s 40, seems like half of the white bread although have the same basic ingredient it’s very different and it’s surrounded by fibre in whole grain and gets digested much much less rapidly. You don’t get as big an increase in glucose.
This is that it doesn’t matter how you get your calories you have to do to lose weight as just count your calories and reduce them and this is suggesting if you don’t count calories but focus on the quality of the food you’re eating.
I just think it’s easier to use the kind of broader Mediterranean diet than it is to follow the low-fat diet.
The message I want you to take from here is that for a lot of people without diabetes who have a low glycemic index, the diet may work as well as losing weight.
Cut Out the Sugar
A real problem in metabolic health. A study that was done in the Netherlands on sugar-sweetened soda and took over 600 normal-weight children who were between 5 and 11 years old. the study has was done for 18 months and here’s what they did.
All kids who were already consuming some soda were given free sort of free supply for 18 months, one per day either was a cola 8-ounce bottle of 250ML. One of those per day with sugar or with sucralose and the kids were blinded.
Actually, most of them couldn’t tell which one they were getting.
The question is, really make a difference? I believe so!
Shocking but if you look at 12 months, there is a real difference in weight just based on getting one small soda per day over that year-long period, translated into one kilogram or 2.2-pound difference on average just from that one small cola per day.
I think this is fairly conclusive evidence that having sugar in your diet is in the form of something like a soda.
It is not good if you’re trying to maintain weight.
Tailor The Diet
We all know that insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar lowers.
A study conducted by Eric Burdon at the Gladstone institute looked at feeding mice on a diet those either ketogenic or kind of control typical diet. They found a couple of key things better memory in the mice in the ketogenic diet group and they had a longer life span and lower midlife mortality.
There’s some evidence of benefit for longevity and the basic thesis is that ketosis, when you start to make ketones is a signalling system that is a little bit similar to if you know fasting diet work that does the same kind of thing and it may send out signals that affect other systems in the body that might increase longevity.
When you hear about the diet size pay attention to the design, was it really a randomized controlled trial or with this just observationally data.
I think there’s evidence right now that supports a healthy diet emphasizing Whole Foods and probably low glycemic index format.
DO NOT Fight Hunger!
A ketogenic low carbohydrate diet. What this means is that it’s a diet that’s low enough and carbohydrate that you really drop insulin levels down to a point where your liver starts making these things called ketones.
And the reason ketones are important are this part here so your brain runs on only one of two fuels either glucose or the only alternate fuel is ketones if your brain doesn’t have one of those two things you die within minutes.
This is the backup fuel actually for the brain and if you’re on a low enough carburettor diet where your body is getting lower in glucose your body does start making carbohydrates.
Doesn’t alternative fuel is one of the ways that we can monitor people to see if they’re really restricting their carbohydrate intake substantially. In a study where randomised controlled trial people mainly with diabetes a few people with prediabetes close to diabetes and we randomise them to one of two dials.
One is a medium carbohydrate diet which is basically what has been a standard recommended kind of diabetic diet this has for people interested about 150 to 200 grammes of carbohydrate per day or randomise them to follow a low carbohydrate diet.
This is down to about 50 grammes or less a carbohydrate per day and this is the key thing that has been found. The haemoglobin A1C is the key measure of glucose control who’s got substantially better in the low carbohydrate group.
Compared to the medium carbohydrate group which was a .6 point improvement in haemoglobin which is clinically a pretty meaningful improvement. Added this in the face of the low carbohydrate group made substantial reductions in their medication use at the same time.
What this suggests is at least in people with diabetes and the main thing I’m going to emphasise here is that I do think people with diabetes type 2 diabetes in general means not handling carbohydrate well and they may do better if will restrict the carbohydrate intake.
The food quality did not tell people to count their calories and yet people got good weight loss they got over 10 pounds and without counting calories. So, focusing on food quality probably matters and this goes against the grain of some diet advice.
I actually think if we roll back the clock and look at what people were eating in the past before we had so much diabetes and so on, a lot of those diet patterns really work.
Many people can successfully lose weight but that’s not going to be true for everyone.
Get Rid of the SUGAR, Get Rid of the FINE GRAIN and ADD as MANY VEGETABLES as you can in your intake daily meals.
Thanks for providing this insightful information. I quite sodas all together and I lost 10lbs over a year with just cutting that 1 item. I’m concerned they empty calories, I call them, is fueling a crisis down the road.
Hi Jim, thank you for the comment. You are indeed right but after all, if you allow me, you have to cut and implement in your day to day meals: cut off sugars, cut off wholegrain and ind=troduce a lot of veggies. That’s all. forget anything.
Blessings to you
I forgot to mention a question regarding Vitamin C. I’ve been told a high dose will help with colds and such. I was just curious if anyone has heard of any studies on this topic? Maybe I’m taking too many milligrams. Anyone following the Keto diet, does it gives you all the supplements you need? Great site!
Hi Jim, thank you for the message. Yes, indeed it is well known that Vit C helps with cold&flu;. and I believe that more than 3 / day it shouldn’t be. As I’ve said keto diet I’ve followed but I do prefer the Mediterranean.
Love this article, is very informational, well descriptive and straight forward. Thanks for this.
Hi, thank you so much for your comment. I am really glad you like it and enjoy it. I hope this will be useful too. Please do not hesitate to check the other articles.