What To Eat? Good Fat—Good Carbs

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt?

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy

Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:
*Lose Weight
*Get in Shape
*Reduce Stress
*Get Healthier
*Win the Lottery

The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment.

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at http://amzn.to/1eju3wu or at your favorite library or bookstore.

What to Eat?
The proposition that poor dietary choices can lead to so much destructive metabolism in your body is scary. However, people make these choices many times a day when they eat. Very good scientific evidence helps people choose diets that provide ingredients that not only reduce these detrimental biochemical chain reactions but also prevent and reverse the effects of oxidation, glycation, inflammation, and all the rest of the negative factors on connective tissue health.

Some of the easiest routes to controlling these metabolic marauders are the following:

* Eat more healthy (omega-3) fats and fewer unhealthy omega-6 fats.

* Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and more whole-grain carbs.

* Eat more antioxidants from brightly colored fruits/veggies.

* Use targeted dietary supplements to activate your body’s own protective antioxidant pathways (the Nrf2 pathway).

* Reduce stress or control your exposure to the stress hormone cortisol.

Good Fat—Good Carbs
Based on data collected since the mid-1970s on more than ninety thousand women and fifty thousand men, researchers at Harvard University have shown quite convincingly that the type of fat and the type of carbohydrate that you eat are vitally important in determining your overall level of systemic inflammation and heart disease.

Their recommendations focus your dietary choices toward healthy fats (olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, and peanut oils) and healthy carbohydrates (whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice) and are associated with a 30 to 40 percent reduction in risk for inflammatory heart disease.

In support of the Harvard recommendations is a 2001 study from Dutch researchers published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which showed that eating more monounsaturated oils was associated with better hydration of tissues (which tend to have a high water content when healthy).

Researchers from the University of Colorado have also noted in the Archives of Dermatology the astonishing differences in rates of connective tissue (skin) inflammation between populations eating a high intake of refined carbohydrates (lots of inflammation and high rates of inflammatory conditions) compared to populations eating fewer refined carbs (very low rates of both).

Modern diets supply roughly twenty to twenty-five times more “omega-6” fatty acids as “omega-3” fatty acids—a situation that predisposes you toward proinflammatory cytokines and systemic inflammation in your body. The best way to address these imbalances is to limit your intake of omega-6 fats (especially fried foods) and increase your consumption of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and bluefish (which are high in omega-3 fats).

For people who can’t or don’t want to eat more fatty fish, a daily essential fatty acid (EFA) supplement can provide omega-3s to help quell inflammatory cytokines. A number of studies have shown that dietary omega-3 fatty acids, because of their anti-inflammatory properties, can help modulate connective-tissue inflammation.

As you can see, just as you are what you eat, you also tend to feel like what you eat. And who wants to feel like junk? The solution, as outlined above, is to face the nutritional facts and eat your way to biochemical balance and vigor by focusing on healthy carbohydrates and fats, controlling stress and cortisol, and getting enough antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids into your daily diet.

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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