What are Saturated Fats?

What are saturated fats and how are they different? We can consume 2 types of fats in our diets – saturated fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids. The differences are found in the chemical bonds within the fats.

Saturated fatty acids have a molecular structure that is very stable because all of the available chemical bonds in the fatty acid molecule are fully saturated with hydrogen. This full saturation makes saturated fats very stable chemically speaking, and solid at room temperature. This stable chemical composition makes saturated fats very safe and healthy for several reasons. They burn cleanly, leaving only water as a residue, and they don’t break down or oxidize or spoil easily. Because of their stability, they can be used for frying at high temperatures without damage to their chemical composition.

The lack of oxidation is important for your health because fats that oxidize easily go rancid (spoil) easily. Oxidized and rancid fat is extremely inflammatory when eaten, and it has been theorized that oxidized fats are at the root of heart disease.

In contrast, polyunsaturated fats such as soybean, canola, safflower, and sunflower oil, are those fatty acids that are missing many hydrogen atoms, leaving many, open unstable chemical bonds. These fats are always liquid at room temperature. As you may remember from high school chemistry, atoms are always trying to stabilize themselves, and the open bonds of polyunsaturated fats are easily filled (oxidized) by the oxygen molecules in the air around them (a process called lipid peroxidation). When that happens, these oils become rancid and unhealthy to consume. Most vegetable oils are polyunsaturated and are very unstable (exceptions are coconut and palm oil which are saturated fats). This makes them unsuitable for high heat cooking and very susceptible to rancidity and hence not healthy for your arteries.

Monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocadoes) only have one unstable chemical bond, so they are less prone to oxidation. This makes them a healthier choice than polyunsaturated oils.


Which Foods Contain Saturated Fat?

Most saturated fats come from animal-based foods, such as butter, pork fat, meat, whole milk, cheese, and eggs. Note that these are real foods and full of good nutrition. Saturated fats can also be found in certain plant foods, such as coconut and palm oil, and cocoa butter, found in dark chocolate.


But Aren’t Fatty Foods Bad for You?

In America, and now around the world, there is a strong belief that consuming too much-saturated fats is bad for health, but the facts don’t support that belief.

The theory is that saturated fat is full of cholesterol, and cholesterol is supposed to cause coronary heart disease (CHD). But this meta-analysis shows this theory has no basis in fact.

In addition, this article discusses the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of a higher intake of saturated fat. In summary, the LOWER the levels of saturated fat consumed, the lower the levels of saturated fat (triglycerides) in the blood, the lower the risk of stroke, and hardening of the arteries.

These facts are also supported by history and time. Before about 1900, Americans did not die of heart disease or diabetes, and it was during that time, our consumption of whole animal-based foods like butter and beef was higher. In reality, the introduction of unstable polyunsaturated vegetable oils and elevated consumption of carbohydrates into the American diet has brought us to the increasing rates of disease we experience today. That wonderful tasting butter is innocent, so enjoy!

Just remember, if anyone asks you “what are saturated fats”, tell them they are the healthiest foods to eat.

Symptoms of Diabetes

The classic symptoms of diabetes include

  • frequent urination
  • excessive thirst
  • blurred vision
  • weight loss for no reason
  • tingling in the hands and feet.

I believe that there are other diabetic symptoms that are not mentioned by doctors, and this is especially true of type 2 diabetes.

This list of the signs of diabetes is not comprehensive, but it should give anyone information they can use to make a decision about seeing a doctor:

  1. Dizzy spells or feeling lightheaded sometimes, especially after having a high carb meal.
  2. Waking at night with heart-pounding, nausea and feeling of being chilled, especially after a high carb meal in the evening. These are signs of reactive hypoglycemia.
  3. Constant hunger, no matter how much you eat. Also, an intense hunger for sweets after meals.
  4. Exhaustion or constant fatigue.
  5. Mood problems, depression, and sadness without reason.
  6. Burning feet, and a feeling of numbness in the toes, especially after standing for long periods of time.
  7. Joint aches, muscle, and joint stiffness, especially upon rising from bed; a diagnosis of some form of arthritis.
  8. Digestive issues: frequent stomach aches, gas pain, bloating and stool issues, perhaps cycling between diarrhea and constipation.
  9. Swollen ankles and general puffiness, especially after sitting for a period of time.
  10. Issues with breathing, especially during sleep; a diagnosis of sleep apnea.
  11. Heartburn, especially at night while lying down or a diagnosis of GERD – Gastrointestinal Reflux disease.
  12. Frequent yeast infections.
  13. Chronic respiratory infections.
  14. Bleeding gums, and a diagnosis of gingivitis, even though you brush and floss every day. Also, a nasty taste in the mouth upon waking.

If you have more than a few of these symptoms of diabetes, it can mean that you have diabetes or will develop this devastating disease at some point.

You should see a doctor, but be aware that the American Diabetes Association diabetic diet that most doctors recommend is not the best way to treat diabetes.

In addition, taking insulin only worsens the blood sugar control problem and may precipitate other health crises for type 2 diabetics. Type 1 diabetics can no longer make insulin internally, and so they must take insulin, but Type 2 diabetics can often control their diabetes with diet, and may not need to take insulin.

Read Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars for more information on controlling blood sugar with diet.

The only way I know to actually reverse the symptoms of diabetes, and I’m speaking of Type 2 diabetes now, is to adopt a low carb diet, and lower your carbohydrate intake, permanently. Basically, you cut sugar, grains and processed food, and learn to eat a higher fat, moderate protein diet.

To learn more about how to do that, buy a book on low carb diets and read it. I would recommend The Protein Power Lifeplan by Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution (Completely Updated!) or The Diabetes Diet: Dr. Bernstein’s Low-Carbohydrate Solution.

In addition, please visit to Blood Sugar 101. You’ll find lots of helpful information on this site.

Anti Inflammatory Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet is one that reduces the consumption of foods which increases chronic inflammation and substitutes foods that decrease chronic inflammation.

Inflammation is a helpful process when it is appropriate to the cause. For instance, if you have an infection, your body will mount an inflammatory response that kills off the infecting bacteria and helps you get well again.

However, chronic inflammation is not good for the body and points to the damage being done by pro-inflammatory substances within the body.

Inflammation is measured with a blood test that looks for a substance called c reactive protein (CRP). Levels of this protein increase in the blood as body inflammation becomes more widespread.

Certain foods and supplements are an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet, and they can lower your levels of c reactive protein, just as other foods can raise CRP.

Generally, foods higher in saturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids are less inflammatory, while foods that are higher in Omega 6 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids are more inflammatory.


Natural Saturated Fats vs Polyunsaturated Fats

Fact: When a consumed food is unstable chemically, it causes reactions that damage the tissue with which it comes into contact. This reaction causes inflammation.

Foods that are chemically unstable include foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats (or PUFAs) are fats that have chemical bonds which are unstable (i.e., the chemical bonds are “unsaturated”).

These chemically unstable bonds cause PUFAs to oxidize quickly in the presence of oxygen and light, and this oxidation sets off the damaging chemical reactions in the body that lead to inflammation.

In contrast, saturated fats are very stable, chemically speaking, because their chemical bonds are “saturated”. The more naturally saturated a fat is, the more chemically stable it is. These natural saturated fats don’t oxidize easily, and they are less inflammatory when consumed.

Other sources about inflammation have stated that saturated fat is inflammatory, but the above information contradicts that assumption, and this reference confirms this.

Vegetable oils, and indeed all polyunsaturated oils, are highly unstable and are easily oxidized after consumption. It is this peroxidation process that results in large amounts of free radical molecules that damage the body.

In addition, excess carbohydrate (sugar and starch) consumption is inflammatory and is associated with the markers of insulin resistance (Metabolic Syndrome), which are closely related to inflammation. See this study, this article, and this study.

Carbohydrates cause inflammation because they increase blood sugar dramatically, which has the effect of increasing blood insulin levels. Insulin is pro-inflammatory.


Foods which Reduce Inflammation

Supplements Which Reduce Inflammation

  • Magnesium
  • Taurine
  • B complex vitamins, especially B6, folic acid and B12
  • Choline especially for fatty liver issues
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • CoQ10 (Ubiquinol)
  • Bromelain

Foods Which Increase Inflammation

These foods should be avoided on an anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Omega 6 fats: refined vegetable oils, such as corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and canola oil
  • Hydrogenated fats, such as margarine, shortening
  • Foods fried in vegetable oils
  • Foods with a high glycemic load. This would include sugars in any form: white sugar, brown sugar, turbinado, fructose, agave, honey and especially high fructose corn syrup. (reference)
  • Fruit and fruit juices, especially those with high sugar content (banana, mango, etc.)
  • Whole grains, including wheat, rye, barley and corn, and the flours made from them. Also any products made with grain flours: bagels, bread, tortillas, crackers, cookies, pasta, cake, etc. Wheat glutens are especially inflammatory.
  • Beans, seeds, and legumes such as peanuts
  • Processed foods that have chemical additives to enhance flavor or appearance.
  • Foods containing soy products such as soy milk, soy protein, soy fillers, and soy “meat”.
  • Grain-fed commercial chicken, beef and pork – the meat from these factory fed animals are low in Omega 3 fats, and high in Omega 6 fats.

In addition, nightshade vegetables can be inflammatory for some individuals. Nightshades include:

  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • eggplant
  • peppers

However, for the most part, an anti-inflammatory diet is one that relies on clean, organic whole foods and avoids processed, refined vegetable oils, sugars, and other pro-inflammatory foods.


Resources for Further Reading

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac disease symptoms vary widely among those people who test positive for the genetic marker. Some people with celiac disease report no symptoms at all. Others experience severe digestive issues that mimic other diseases, making diagnoses difficult. Note what one doctor said about this disease:

“Celiac disease is one of the great mimics in gastroenterology in particular and medicine in general. Of 100 patients with CD, just over 10 percent present with classical overt symptoms of malabsorption such as weight loss, diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies. About 10 percent are incorrectly diagnosed for some length of time, in some cases years. Forty percent present in an atypical manner, which leads to lengthy delay in diagnosis. About 33 percent of patients have clinically silent disease and 7 percent have latent CD (no symptoms or small bowel lesion but will develop CD later, or had disease at an early age and resolved).” C. Robert Dahl, MD, “Celiac Disease: The Great Mimic Presentation,” CSA Annual Conference, September 2000.”

Although each patient presents a unique case, “classic” celiac symptoms have been cataloged, and include:

  • Constant and voracious hunger
  • Constipation and anal fissures which may alternate with diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • An inability to absorb fats from the diet, which results in the production of fatty, foul-smelling stools
  • A skin rash is known as Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Weight loss
  • A failure to thrive in children
  • Edema and water retention
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia and low iron
  • Osteoporosis with bone pain and bone loss
  • Seizures and other neurological issues
  • Associated symptoms of essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to the inability to absorb nutrients within the digestive tract.
  • Smaller children may exhibit projectile vomiting and stunted growth

It is not uncommon for celiac disease symptoms to be vaguer. Celiac sufferers sometimes exhibit subtle symptoms such as dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis), depression, irritability, joint pain, mouth sores, muscle cramps, especially in the hands and feet, skin rash, stomach discomfort, and tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy).

Adiponectin

Adiponectin is a hormone secreted by the fat tissue in the body. It plays a role in obesity, insulin resistant, lipid metabolism, and anti-inflammation.

It lowers glucose production and helps switch the body cells over to burning fat for fuel instead. This is important because the burning of sugar by the cells releases high levels of free radicals, which then cause damage to the cells.

Current research suggests that the high levels of free radicals released during glucose oxidation are at the root of many disease pathways. Hence, longevity is associated with the use of fat for fuel over glucose (sugar).

Current research suggests that this hormone plays a critical role in preventing insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and the inflammation now commonly associated with heart disease. It also helps the body conserve energy during times of starvation.

Research on this hormone is not all good though. Recent research has found that high levels of it weaken the bone structure in mice. Hence the verdict is still out on whether it is beneficial to weight loss or not.

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat tissue in the body. It regulates appetite and weight loss and plays a role in the regulation of blood circulation, blood clotting, the creation of new bone, and the maintenance of body temperature. It also has an effect on female reproduction, immune functions, and the function of many other hormones, including insulin. It was initially discovered in 1994 by Jeffrey Friedman and his team at Rockefeller University.

Leptin binds to receptors in the hypothalamus, which then release chemicals that signal the body to stop eating. Giving this hormone to patients who are deficient in it will result in a weight loss. However, obese patients receiving the hormone do not benefit from the same weight loss effect.

Researchers hypothesize that the lack of weight loss in obese individuals is caused by chronically high levels of circulating leptin. In fact, the greater the amount of fat tissue, the higher the level of the circulating hormone.

Because the obese person’s fat cells are constantly being bathed in leptin, the cells become resistant to its “stop eating” message. This mechanism is similar to Syndrome X, in which the body becomes resistant to chronically high levels of insulin, which if not addressed, could eventually result in a diagnosis of diabetes.


Promising Research

According to Rockefeller University, leptin therapy has been shown to be an effective therapy for a number of other human conditions associated with low levels of this hormone, including several different forms of human diabetes and a condition known as hypothalamic amenorrhea.

This condition, which develops in extremely thin women — often ballet dancers or long-distance runners — is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, and treatment with this hormone has been shown to restore reproductive function in these patients.


Factors in Weight Loss

Ron Rosedale, M.D. has written a book called The Rosedale Diet in which he prescribes an eating plan for overcoming leptin resistance. His diet is basically a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet, with an emphasis on monounsaturated fats over saturated fats.

In the first 3 weeks of the diet, he limits food choices to seafood, poultry and green vegetables. After this period, patients can add more meat and lower-fat dairy products. He also recommends that patients eat smaller meals more often, and to eat foods containing fat if you are hungry. (He recommends using nuts as snacks).

I have reservations about Rosedale’s book because he advises patients to avoid saturated fat. There is little reason to avoid saturated fat while on a low carb diet.

Jan Kwasnieski, a doctor in Poland has used a ketogenic diet (which is high in saturated fat), to reverse obesity and diabetes in many patients. Other studies done on ketogenic diets have also improved health factors. See Jeff Volek’s work at the University of Connecticut.


Resources for Further Reading

Genetically Modified Crops

Genetically modified crops are those which have been altered genetically for several reasons. Those reasons might include reducing the maturation time of the plant, increasing nutrients, yields, and stress tolerance, and creating a plant that can withstand diseases, and heavier applications of pesticides and herbicides.

The concerns about these genetically modified crops include the potential human health impacts, including cancers, nutritional problems, allergens, and the transfer of antibiotic resistance markers resulting in antibiotic-resistant diseases.

In addition, there is a great potential for environmental impacts, including the unintended transfer of genetic effects through cross-pollination to native plants, the unknown effects on other organisms (e.g., beneficial insects, soil microbes), and the loss of plant and animal biodiversity.

Here’s a list of the most common genetically modified crops:

  • Soybeans which are resistant to herbicides. An herbicide-resistant gene is taken from bacteria and inserted into the soybean plant. In 2010, data from the USDA showed that 93% of soybeans grown in the US were genetically modified soybeans. The USDA’s Economic Research site states that “Processed soybeans are the largest source of protein feed and the second-largest source of vegetable oil in the world.” Note that most commercial dressings and mayonnaise are made with soybean oil.

    In 2001, the New York Times carried a story about US soybeans containing some “unexpected DNA” next to its inserted gene, which cast doubts on the biotechnology industry’s assertions that its technology is precise and predictable.

    From the NY Times story: “The mysterious DNA was found in the Monsanto Company’s Roundup Ready soybeans by the Belgian government and university scientists, who described their findings in a paper published yesterday in the journal European Food Research and Technology. Greenpeace called yesterday for countries to re-evaluate the regulatory approvals of the soybeans, saying that Monsanto did not know as much as it should about its product. The unknown DNA could possibly affect the safety of the beans, the group said.”

  • Corn which is resistant to certain pesticides. The modification makes them tolerant to huge amounts of crop pesticide spray. In this way a farmer can use amounts of pesticides which would normally kill the plant, (and probably you and me) without harming it. USDA data as of 2010 shows that 86% of the corn crop in the US is biotech corn.

    Sweet corn is also modified to produce its own insecticide (a toxin to insects, so insect attacks are less likely). The insect-killing gene comes from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. (You may know the term “Bt corn”).

    In May of 1999, the prestigious journal Nature reported a study written by researchers from Cornell University which reported the fate of Monarch caterpillars placed on plants that were dusted with pollen from GM Bt corn. The corn had been modified to produce an insecticide to kill the European corn borer. The pesticide was not supposed to affect other insects. But it did. More than 44% of the butterfly larvae exposed to the GM corn pollen turned black and died. None of the butterfly larvae exposed to natural corn pollen died.

  • Cotton which is pest-resistant. USDA data for 2010 show that about 93% of cotton in the US is genetically modified.
  • Hawaiian Papaya which is resistant to the Papaya Ringspot Virus. More than 50% of the papaya crops in the US are modified.
  • Tomatoes which are resistant to rot. The genetically modified (GM) tomatoes do not produce the substance that normally causes tomatoes to rot and degrade. The first of these came on the market in 1994. It was called the FlavrSavr. It was taken off the market after the scientist who had created it expressed his concerns about its cancerous effects on television. The resulting public outrage resulted in bans on GM foods at the major fast food chains. Other genetically modified tomatoes contained genes that made them resistant to antibiotics. After concern from doctors and the medical community, tomatoes are now genetically modified in an alternative way.
  • Potatoes that are pest-resistant. 10% of the potato crop in the US is modified.
  • Rapeseed (Canola) which is resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop spray. 75% of the canola/rapeseed crop in the US is modified.
  • Sugar cane which is resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop spray.
  • Sugar beets which are resistant to certain pesticides and able to tolerate heavy pesticide crop sprays.
  • Rice which is genetically modified to contain high amounts of Vitamin A. Three new genes are implanted: two from daffodils and the third from a bacterium. Wikipedia notes that on August 18, 2006, American exports of rice to Europe were interrupted when much of the U.S. crop was confirmed to be contaminated with unapproved engineered genes, possibly due to accidental cross-pollination with conventional crops. The U.S. government has since declared the rice safe for human consumption, and exports to some countries have since resumed, but in the past years more genetically modified crops have started to cross-pollinate which leaves a problem that is yet to be solved.
  • In addition, commercial milk producers inject dairy cattle with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) which is a genetically modified hormone created to increase each cow’s milk production. This hormone is present in the milk that comes from these cows. Not only does it sicken the cows in great numbers, but it is also linked to cancer in human beings.

    The Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research published a meta-analysis of the impact of rBGH on dairy cattle. Findings indicated a nearly 25% increase in the risk of clinical mastitis (infection of the cow’s udder), a 40% reduction infertility and 55% increased risk of developing clinical signs of lameness.


In looking over this list, it seems to me that just about every one of these genetically modified crops is heavily used in the production of processed food products.

It’s another good reason to choose real, whole foods over processed foods.

Processed products made with genetically modified crops are everywhere. Many are made by the food companies whose names are the most familiar to us – the ones with the glitzy, expensive commercials on TV.

As noted above, mayonnaise is made with soybean oil, as are most commercial salad dressings. You’ll find the results of genetically modified crops in baby foods and infant formula, cereals and breakfast bars, most frozen convenience foods, canned soups and sauces, and snack foods like chips and crackers.

Even the beloved commercial chocolate and candy contain beet sugar from genetically modified crops, and aspartame, the artificial sweetener known as Nutrasweet or Equal is derived from genetically engineered crops.

You may wonder why the federal government supports these crops. Here are a few facts from the USDA ERA website that will open your eyes:

  • The farm value of U.S. soybean production in 2008/09 was $29.6 billion, the second-highest value among U.S.-produced crops, trailing only corn.
  • The United States grew 39 percent of the world’s corn during the fiscal year 2009, producing 307.4 million metric tons (12.1 billion bushels) which were sold at between $4-$6/bushel. You do the math.

Even Cows Know Better

Jeffrey Smith writes in Seeds of Deception “According to a 1999 Acres USA article, cattle even broke through a fence and walked through a field of Roundup Ready corn to get to a non-GM variety that they ate. The cows left the GM corn untouched.”

This is just one of the stories told by farmers who grow GM corn.

An Iowa farmer named Howard Vlieger reported an interesting story to Jeffery Smith, who included it in Seeds of Deception.

“In 1998, Howard Vlieger harvested both natural corn and a genetically modified Bt variety on his farm in Maurice, Iowa.

 

Curious about how his cows would react to the pesticide producing Bt corn, he filled one side of his sixteen-foot trough with the Bt and dumped natural corn on the other side. Normally his cows would eat as much corn as was available, never leaving leftovers. But when he let twenty-five of them into the pen, they all congregated on the side of the trough with the natural corn. When it was gone, they nibbled a bit on the Bt, but quickly changed their minds and walked away.

 

A couple of years later, Vlieger joined a room full of farmers in Ames, Iowa to hear presidential candidate Al Gore. Troubled by Gore’s unquestioning acceptance of GM foods, Vlieger asked Gore to support a recently introduced bill in Congress requiring that GM foods be labeled. Gore replied that scientists said there is no difference between GM and non-GM foods. Vlieger said he respectfully disagreed and described how his cows refused to eat the GM corn. He added, “My cows are smarter than those scientists were.” The room erupted in applause. Gore asked if any other farmers noticed a difference in the way their animals responded to GM food. About twelve to fifteen hands went up.”


More Information on Genetically Modified Crops

Alzheimer’s Disease: New Research

Recent research on Alzheimer’s disease is revealing that a diet chronically high in carbohydrates and low in dietary cholesterol is associated with the development of brain-based insulin resistance (now being called Type 3 Diabetes) which can lead to an imbalance in the cellular function and repair mechanisms of the brain.

The brain is extremely active metabolically, and it is in a constant state of maintaining a balance between the destructive aspects of burning sugar for energy and rebuilding its neurons (brain cells) from incoming cholesterol molecules.

If blood cholesterol levels fall too low, and blood sugar is chronically high, this delicate balance is upset, and the destruction of the brain cells begins to take the upper hand as oxidative stress increases.

Because the affected brain lacks enough cholesterol for rebuilding its neuronal cell walls, it substitutes beta-amyloid substances instead. This leads to the buildup of the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on this theory, see Alzheimer’s Solved: Condensed Edition by Henry O. Lorin, DMD.

Other Alzheimer’s disease research has found that cholesterol plays an essential role in the mechanisms of neuronal synaptic function, plasticity, and neuron degeneration and destruction.


Alzheimer’s and Coconut Oil

New treatments for Alzheimer’s disease include the potential use of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil) or ketone bodies (also called ketoacids) the end product of MCT metabolism. Ketones may not only treat but also prevent Alzheimer’s disease. MCTs are found in abundance in virgin coconut oil.

In 2001, Dr. Richard L. Veech of the NIH, and others, published an article entitled, “Ketone bodies, potential therapeutic uses.” In 2003, George F. Cahill, Jr. and Richard Veech authored, “Ketoacids? Good Medicine?” and in 2004, Richard Veech published a review of the therapeutic implications of ketone bodies.

Our cells can use ketone bodies as an alternative fuel when glucose is not available. Brain cells, specifically neurons, are very limited, more limited than other cells, in what kinds of fuel they can use to function and to stay alive. The body can produce ketone bodies from coconut oil and when on a very low carb diet. Ketones can serve as food for the brain and nervous system in the event that insulin resistance and a lack of glucose availability develops. Providing the ketone bodies appears to protect the brain cells from destruction.

Ketones and ketosis have gotten a bad reputation because of misinformation given during the debate over low carb diets. Dr. Veech has said publicly:

“Simply put, ketosis is evolution’s answer to the thrifty gene. We may have evolved to efficiently store fat for times of famine, says Veech, but we also evolved ketosis to efficiently live off that fat when necessary. Rather than being poison, which is how the press often refers to ketones, they make the body run more efficiently and provide a backup fuel source for the brain. Veech calls ketones “magic” and has shown that both the heart and brain run 25 percent more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar.”

In addition, one study has shown that ketones trigger a cellular process called chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA).

What is CMA? It is a cellular process that allows cells to remove junk proteins, organelles, and foreign bodies from the watery interior of the cell and deliver them to the cell’s waste disposal system for degradation. If this “junk” isn’t removed regularly from the cell’s interior, it eventually overwhelms and kills the cell.

This line of ketone research is also yielding answers for Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.


Resources for Further Reading

Industrial Agriculture

Industrial agriculture is a generic term to describe modern farming techniques that utilize genetic engineering, biotechnology, economic control, and political methods to manage and dominate the industrialized production of livestock, poultry, fish, and crops. Most of the meat, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables available in supermarkets are produced using industrial agricultural methods.

Industrialized agriculture is characterized by several prominent themes:

  • Monoculture
  • A reliance on chemicals to manage plant growth
  • The separation of the natural interdependent nature of animal and plant agriculture.

Monoculture is the practice of growing the same crops on the same land year after year. The problems inherent in monoculture include a dependence on only a few crops, which narrows the gene pool. This opens the door for the potential of devastating disease proliferation. Monoculture also contributes to the depletion of soil nutrients and the infiltration of massive amounts of pests, which then necessitates the application of massive amounts of pesticides in order to yield an efficient harvest.

The application of pesticides, growth hormones to increase yield and other chemicals to manage these vulnerable crops results in mass pollution of the soil, fewer nutrients in the food grown, and the contamination of any nearby water sources through runoff.

For instance, there is a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where all marine life has died off. Researchers believe it’s caused by the runoff of pesticides and other chemicals from farmland in the Mississippi valley.

For the supporters of agribusiness, industrial agriculture provides the benefits of driving technological innovation and providing cheap, convenient food for the consumer.

However, many researchers, farmers, and environmentalists believe the methods used by industrial agriculture are not sustainable in the long run. There are too many problems:

  • The disruption of the natural order of plant/animal/earth interdependence, which is not a sustainable long term
  • Contamination of natural seed supplies and natural food crops through the propagation of genetically modified plants and sterile seeds
  • Environmental and social costs of large scale agriculture; destruction of natural forests to grow crops, and absorption of indigenous farming methods in pursuit of the profits of industrial crop sales
  • Damage to natural fisheries thorough genetic engineering and offshore fish farms
  • Surface and groundwater pollution by animal waste from factory farms and confined feeding operations
  • The health risks of heavy applications of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in the food supply
  • Pollution from the heavy use of fossil fuels
  • Topsoil erosion, the devastation of soil health and depletion of nutrients in the food produced

In contrast, sustainable agriculture approaches the growing of food in a natural direction. Sustainable agriculture refers to the ability of a farm to produce food indefinitely, without causing severe or irreversible damage to ecosystem health.

On a sustainable farm, crops are rotated, animals and bugs are allowed to thrive and interact with cropland, and provide the natural substances which replenish both soil and plants. The sustainable farmer works WITH nature, instead of against it.


More Information on Industrial Agriculture

Healthy Meal Ideas

Changing your diet requires coming up with new healthy meal ideas. Here are a few suggestions for clean, whole foods that travel well, and work for people who have jobs where food cannot be heated.

  • Apples and cheddar cheese, turkey or chicken slices or chunks
  • Take slices of clean lunch meat (ham, salami, turkey) and spread them with softened cream cheese. Roll up and refrigerate. These are great the next day.
  • Tuna salad in tomatoes. If you don’t have time to make homemade mayo, you can mix softened cream cheese into the tuna.
  • Slices of roast, or chicken, plus organic carrots, radish slices, cucumbers, other veggies with a cream cheese-based dip
  • Slices of homemade meatloaf wrapped in lettuce.
  • Clean lunch meat and cheese on slices of radish, cucumber or other veggies.
  • Instead of processed commercial bread which has tons of chemicals in it, you can use organic, sprouted bread instead. I’ve found it at my local grocery store in the freezer section. The brand name is Foods for Life.
  • Make organic salads with lots of organic meat and cheese, and homemade dressing.

Also, save work and aggravation by cooking ahead of time. Make deviled eggs, grill several pounds of meat, and roast a couple of chickens on the weekend or in the evenings. These will make fast and nutritious leftovers which are easy to fix during the week.

If you don’t have time on the weekend either, spend an evening doing prep work: chop some veggies, brown some hamburger, and have basics ready for quick and healthy meals.