Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Historical Pump?

"Pumping up is easier for people who have been buff before, and now scientists think they know why — muscles retain a memory of their former fitness even as they wither from lack of use.
sciencenewsThat memory is stored as DNA-containing nuclei, which proliferate when a muscle is exercised. Contrary to previous thinking, those nuclei aren’t lost when muscles atrophy, researchers report online August 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The extra nuclei form a type of muscle memory that allows the muscle to bounce back quickly when retrained.
The findings suggest that exercise early in life could help fend off frailness in the elderly, and also raise questions about how long doping athletes should be banned from competition, says study leader Kristian Gundersen, a physiologist at the University of Oslo in Norway.
Muscle cells are huge, Gundersen says. And because the cells are so big, more than one nucleus is needed to supply the DNA templates for making large amounts of the proteins that give muscle its strength. Previous research has demonstrated that with exercise, muscle cells get even bigger by merging with stem cells called satellite cells, which are nestled between muscle fiber cells. Researchers had previously thought that when muscles atrophy, the extra nuclei are killed by a cell death program called apoptosis."
Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/08/muscle-memory/#ixzz0yEt7Fmra

In other words, your activities influence your genetic expression.
-Located from Crossfit.com

Classic Quotes, Bryant and Ali

"The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses--behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights."
Muhammad Ali

"The will to win compares little with the will to prepare to win."
Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

Well, Can You?

"You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth."
- Shira Tehrani
This one reminds me of the bumper sticker: "Eat right, exercise, die anyway."
I think this reflects a disconnect.  Yes, I hope that how I eat and how I work out will help me live longer - but the best reason to eat well and be fit is the benefit in quality of life I get right now, today, this minute.  I don't look at fitness as depriving myself now to have something good later - I look at fitness as the means by which to best enjoy all the other moments of life.  I don't think "the fit life" is the only way to enjoy life, but it is a way that works for me. 
I work with people several times a week who are struggling to stay out of the grip of diabetes, who are struggling to recover functional strength, who are struggling to build strength and functionality into weak backs and hips.  For those folks, the truth is they can exercise and eat well or they can be sick - that's an entirely different prospect. 
Where are you on the wellness continuum?  Can your back safely bear a moderate load?  Can you walk while bearing that load?  Can you set it down on the ground without injury?  Does your back, neck or knees hurt due to muscle imbalance and plain old weakness?  Can you sprint?  Crawl?  Throw?  Jump?  You should be able to do all of these things, but unless you do them, you won't be able to do them!  That means you lose capacity, you lose options for how you live, every day.  Humans were not made to be inactive and the studies show it - the positive emotional benefit of exercise is a virtual certainty for most if not all of us.
A life of unnecessary limitation is worse than living a short life.  Thoughtful eating and exercise is part and parcel of providing width and depth to life.

Monday, August 30, 2010

'Feasting' On Juice

"You have probably already read my post Just Say No...To Juice?, but if you haven't now's your chance.  Basically, the problem with juice is that it is too concentrated--you just can NOT eat enough fruit to get the equivalent amount of sugar that is in juice--you'd get sick!  And don't kid yourself, fructose is a sugar, just like high fructose corn syrup, just like table sugar, just like stevia.  They all set things in motion in your body that prepare it for the highly concentrated burst of energy your body knows comes with sweet foods.  It doesn't matter if they are "zero" calorie or low glycemic, sugar and its various forms set the fat storage switch to ON, storing excess carbohydrate as fat."
One of the first times my wife took the kids to the dentist, she (the dentist) said, "you guys don't drink a lot of juice, do you."  In other words, the dentist can determine which kids are 'juicing' by the tooth damage.  The case against juice is so strong, it's hard to believe it ever gained a reputation as a healthful substance - yes, juice has some important nutritional elements, but most of them are irrelevant in the presence of sugar!  In other words - you need a lot less vitamin C when you are eating a low sugar diet.  As I've written before, it appears to me that the primary purpose of fruit in the 'ancestral diet' was to help us fatten up for the winter.  Fructose in particular has an effect on leptin resistance that would support that conjecture.  Eat fruit like a treat, and knowing that it works against any intention you may have to lower your body fat levels while being at best neutral to your health.    

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Go to this place, do what the Kstar says, be better.

Another Take on Obesity and Exercise

Nice birddog to this article from www.lifeasrx.com/blog

The description below is entirely consistent with Gary Taubes' well articulated description of the problem in "Good Calories Bad Calories" and really is the only explanation of obesity that makes any sense.
"New research highlighted by the BBC and published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood suggests that the common understanding of the relationship between physical activity and childhood obesity may possibly present things in the wrong order. That is, while it's a widely held belief — and premise of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign — that growing inactivity among children is one of the contributing factors to the obesity epidemic, investigators conducting the EarlyBird Diabetes Study suggest that decreased physical activity may actually be a symptom of obesity."

Read more: http://wellness.blogs.time.com/2010/07/07/which-comes-first-inactivity-or-childhood-obesity/#ixzz0x5BGHUqE

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Got Pain? Get Moving!

The article linked below is worth a full read, but the excerpts that follow relate most directly to exercise and pain.  Exercise is also preventive for depression - thus, to me the treatments for depression are not as important as the fact that exercise is in and of itself a means to having a better life experience.

Another thought - as you read this article, think of the previous posts you've seen about the connection between joint pain and mental dis-function and wheat consumption.  What if many the patients described in this piece could be treated effectively simply through wheat restriction?   Dr. Weston Price, in his fascinating book describing his thoughts on studying many paleolithic peoples, considered mental disorders a function of the mal-nutrition inherent in the western world. 

"Everyone experiences pain at some point, but for those with depression or anxiety, pain can become particularly intense and hard to treat. People suffering from depression, for example, tend to experience more severe and long-lasting pain than other people.
The overlap of anxiety, depression, and pain is particularly evident in chronic and sometimes disabling pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, headaches, and nerve pain. Psychiatric disorders not only contribute to pain intensity but also to increased risk of disability.
Researchers once thought the relationship between pain, anxiety, and depression resulted mainly from psychological rather than biological factors. Chronic pain is depressing, and likewise major depression may feel physically painful. But as researchers have learned more about how the brain works, and how the nervous system interacts with other parts of the body, they have discovered that pain shares some biological mechanisms with anxiety and depression.
Treatment is challenging when pain overlaps with anxiety or depression. Focus on pain can mask both the clinician's and patient's awareness that a psychiatric disorder is also present. Even when both types of problems are correctly diagnosed, they can be difficult to treat.

Exercise. There's an abundance of research that regular physical activity boosts mood and alleviates anxiety, but less evidence about its impact on pain.
The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed 34 studies that compared exercise interventions with various control conditions in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The reviewers concluded that aerobic exercise, performed at the intensity recommended for maintaining heart and respiratory fitness, improved overall well-being and physical function in patients with fibromyalgia, and might alleviate pain. More limited evidence suggests that exercises designed to build muscle strength, such as lifting weights, might also improve pain, overall functioning, and mood.

Raw Milk - Your Choice or Government's Choice?

There's a lot to like about raw milk - grass fed cattle milk provides a uniquely nutritious element to the SAD.  Raw milk is not subject to super high temperatures for pasteurization, and anecdotal evidence indicates that primitive cultures who used grass fed raw dairy were often extraordinarily healthy.
Excerpts from the link below follow:
"Right now the “war” between the FDA and consumers looking to secure their right to purchase and drink raw milk is reaching a peak.
Earlier this year, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) filed a lawsuit against the FDA over their raw milk ban, claiming it is unconstitutional. The FDA’s rebuttal contained the following extremely concerning and outrageous statements, which make it very clear they believe you have no right to unprocessed food:
“There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food.”
“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.”
“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.”
The FDA’s brief goes on to state that “even if such a right did exist, it would not render the FDA’s regulations unconstitutional because prohibiting the interstate sale and distribution of unpasteurized milk promotes bodily and physical health.”
“There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract.”
If you go by these assertions, it means the FDA has the authority to prohibit any food of their choosing and make it a crime for you to seek it out. If, one day, the FDA deems tomatoes, broccoli or cashews capable of causing you harm (which is just as ludicrous as their assertions that raw milk is harmful), they could therefore enact such a ban and legally enforce it….”

In my view, the FDA is overstepping its bounds.  
I certainly agree with this:
"Daily Finance reports:
“On occasion, people do get sick from drinking raw milk. But the number of people sickened by raw milk compared to other foods does not seem to warrant the FDA’s focused, expensive campaign …
No government regulations of interstate commerce in peanuts, kale, or cantaloupes have been suggested, despite the much greater number of people sickened by consuming these foods. Sushi, a raw food that provides a greater opportunity for illness than raw milk, is legal in all 50 states, too.”
Daily Finance July 20, 2010"

I like Joel Salatin's idea, as heard on this terrific podcast with Jimmy Moore, that we should add a bill to the constitution which identifies the constitutional right to buy food from whomever a citizen would choose to.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Feedback From Shi No Ubi

My friend Shi No Ubi (nicknamed 'finger of death' by an exchange student who feared his pressure point prowess) has been eating according to the FOTG plan this month (he'd already lost ten pounds counting calories, which probably helped him get started - caloric restriction works well for a short time, after which, unless adequate protein is ingested, weight loss slows and negative side effects kick in).  He reports his total weight loss now is over 20 pounds,  and he reports he's "not hungry, energy getting better, I'm waking up earlier, knees feel better."  In other words, these are markers that all indicate that insulin, and therefore inflammation, is getting under control.  As part of that process, Shi No Ubi is checking his blood sugar every AM.  As he noted, "I can tell when something I eat in the evening should come off of the 'food' list because my blood sugar will be high the next morning."  His glucose is averaging 111, and his goal is to get it below 100.  This is of course the big number, more important by far than fat loss.  If your glucose numbers are bad, the impact is systemic.  That they are now getting under control is a good sign, another marker that he's on the trail towards restored health.
Today, Shi No Ubi reported the passage of another milestone - his blood pressure was 96/56, pulse, 60 beats per minute.  These are low numbers and indicate that he can talk to his doctor about a reduction/elimination of blood pressure medication. 
In short, Shi No Ubi presents the 'picture' that anyone would hope for when moving from pre-diabetic/metabolic syndrome/metabolic derrangement towards health.  By restricting the quantity and quality of carbohydrate intake to levels the human body was built to work with, the body is no longer in 'emergency mode' to manage blood glucose levels.  "Emergency mode" means insulin resistance, low energy levels, high inflammation levels, high blood pressure, low HDL, a large amount of small dense LDL, high triglycerides, high A1c, and high abdominal fat - the body is in a near panic managing excessive doses of carbs, and does its best to clean house by storing the sugar as fat around the abdomen.  Through his thoughtful changes in diet, and with no change in exercise, Shi No Ubi has arrested metabolic syndrome, and like clockwork, all the markers are turning positive - lowering BP (and a pending reduction in BP meds), no hunger, better energy, decreasing pain levels, and decreasing abdominal fat. 
Still in the future - elimination of statins as his blood sugar further regulates and all his fasting lipid panel numbers improve (getting off of statins reduces any number of statin related risks).  Still in the future - a comfortable body weight and further reductions in inflammation levels.  Still in the future - another leap in sleep quality.  Still in the future - confidence that his health is under his own control.  Still in the future - 10-20 additional years of good quality living. 
I couldn't be happier for my friend!  I'm looking forward to another visit next month - more cigars, more shooting, more martial arts training, more of the good life!

ALA Converts to Long Branched Chain Omega 3 Fatty Acids

"Synthesis of the longer n−3 fatty acids from linolenic acid within the body is competitively slowed by the n−6 analogues. Thus accumulation of long-chain n−3 fatty acids in tissues is more effective when they are obtained directly from food or when competing amounts of n−6 analogs do not greatly exceed the amounts of n−3."
IOW, this is one reason to go for the fish oil vice canola oil or other sources of ALA. 

I think in time we'll find that omega-3 fatty acids are not in and of themselves beneficial, but must be kept in balance with omega-6 fatty acids.  The SAD is biased 20-1 in favor of omega-6 - healthy populations show a ratio of 1-2 or 1-3 of omega 3 to omega 6.  In other words, there's at least some evidence that it's the relative level of omega-3 that matters, not the abosolute level, based on populations that have virtually no omega-3 or omega-6 intake, but are still healthy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuck on the Wrong Model

The evidence that exercise contributes to weight loss is contradictory, as is the concept.  I think that if exercise contributed to weight loss, all lumberjacks would have died.  In other words, we know that the body includes many feedback mechanisms that help keep a person who's eating 'food' (not to be confused with bread, rice, pasta, and the processed products of the undustrial food chain) from eating too little or too much.  If you eat non-food and try to work it off, fine, go ahead but I can guarantee you'll get a better result if you eat the right food, and exercise for the physical capacities that will serve you best in sport, life and combat. 

That said, this is an interesting quote:
"It's often said that the best program you could be doing right now is the one you're not currently on... What that means is that once your body adapts to certain stimulus it is time to switch up your routine.

This is why my quick tip for you today would be to take your current cardio program and turn it on its head. If you're doing mostly longer distance, steady state cardio then switch over the majority of these workouts to interval based routines. Likewise, if you're big into interval based sprints I would try adding in a few longer endurance based sessions."

This idea is embodied in CrossFit's prescription:  "Constantly varied functional movements, executed at high intensity."  There's almost no case for which the variation does not make sense.  One exception - some people will exercise more if all they are doing is putting on some shoes and going outside to walk/run.  They don't want to think about what they will do, they just want a routine to escape to, the benefits are often a meditative process as much as anything else.  For those folks, variation by result in less activity.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

K2 from HSB

Another fantastic post from Dr. Davis, who has the gift of being able to put a large amount of useful information into a concise post.

"Vitamin K2 is emerging as an exciting player in the control and possible regression of coronary atherosclerotic plaque. Only about 10% of dietary vitamin K intake is in the K2 form, the other 90% being the more common K1.

I say that the conversation on vitamin K2 is emerging because of a number of uncertainties: What form of vitamin K2 is best (so-called MK-4 vs. MK7 vs. MK-9, all of which vary in structure and duration of action in human blood)? What dose is required for bone benefits vs. other benefits outside of bone health? Why would humans have developed a need for a nutrient that is created through fermentation with only small quantities in meats and other non-fermented foods?

Chicken contains about 8 mcg MK-4 per 3 1/2 oz serving; beef contains about 1 mcg. Egg yolks contain 31 mcg MK-4 per 3 1/2 oz serving (app. 6 raw yolks). Hard cheeses contain about 5 mcg MK-4 per 3 1/2 oz serving, about 70 mcg of MK-8,9; soft cheeses contain about 30% less. Natto contains about 1000 mcg of MK-7, 84 mcg MK-8, and no MK-4 per 3 1/2 oz serving.

Thanks to the research efforts of the Dutch and Japanese groups, several phenomena surrounding vitamin K2 are clear, even well-established fact:

--Vitamin K2 supplementation (via frequent natto consumption or pharmaceutical doses of K2) substantially improves bone health. While K2 by itself exerts significant bone density/strength increasing properties in dozens of studies, when combined with other bone health-promoting agents (e.g., vitamin D3, prescription drugs like Fosamax and calcitonin), an exaggerated synergy of bone health-promoting effects develop.

--The MK-4 form of vitamin K2 is short-lived, lasting only 3-4 hours in the body. The MK-7 form, in contrast, the form in natto, lasts several days. MK-7 and MK-8-10 are extremely well absorbed, virtually complete.

--Bone health benefits have been shown for both the MK-7 and MK-4 forms.

--Coumadin (warfarin) blocks all forms of vitamin K.

Interestingly, farm-raised meats and eggs do not differ from factory farm-raised foods in K2 content. (But please do not regard this as an endorsement of factory farm foods.)

Another interesting fact: Since mammals synthesize a small quantity of Vit K2 forms from vitamin K1, then eating lots of green vegetables should provide substrate for some quantity of K2 conversion. However, work by Schurgers et al have shown that K1 absorption is poor, no more than 10%, but increases significantly when vegetables are eaten in the presence of oils. (Thus arguing that oils are meant to be part of the human diet. Does your olive oil or oil-based salad dressing represent fulfillment of some subconscious biologic imperative?)

If we believe the data of the Rotterdam Heart Study, then a threshold of 32.7 micrograms of K2 from cheese yields the reduction in cardiovascular events and aortic calcification.

It's all very, very interesting. My prediction is that abnormal (pathologic) calcium deposition will prove to be a basic process that parallels atherosclerotic plaque growth, and that manipulation of phenomena that impact on calcium depostion also impact on atherosclerotic plaque growth. Vitamins D3 and K2 provide potential potent means of at least partially normalizing these processes.

As the data matures, I am going to enjoy my gouda, Emmenthaler, Gruyere, and feta cheeses, along with a few egg yolks. I'm going to be certain to include healthy oils like olive and canola with my vegetables."

My note - I don't view canola as healthy as it oxidizes too easily and does not contain the most useful forms of omega 3 fatty acids.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hyperlipid Zeroes In On Wheat

Peter is brilliant but writes in a challenging style. My interpretation or BLUF: Commonly used diagnostic practices will not detect your wheat sensitivity, so even though the present rate of those who are known to be wheat intolerant is 1%, that number will become larger as the new techniques are used. If you have symptoms of auto-immune disease, neurological disease or gut irritation you should start with the cheap, no side effect treatment of choice - get rid of wheat/legumes and processed dairy for a month and take note of the result.

"It is particularly notable that the main reference cited by Wills and Unsworthy for the incidence of coeliac disease only tested antibody positive patients and only accepted them as coeliac if they had intestinal signs on biopsy. Clearly depending on EMA antibodies, as used in Cook's study, missed many patients so the incidence of intestinal coeliac disease MUST be underestimated.

"The value of EMA as a screening tool is therefore limited"

Still, an incidence of 1% is massively higher than was the accepted incidence 20 years ago. This estimate will continue to increase as people realise how widespread the problems from wheat are.

Backing away from intestinal disease as a pre requisite for gluten problems:

The whole point of Hadjivassiliou's work is that there may not be ANY gut signs with neurological gluten induced disease.

We know full well that the zonulin system in the gut is disrupted by gluten. This is irrespective of the presence of intestinal coeliac disease. Once the gut is permeable to proteins you can take your pick of auto immune diseases. If you get neurological problems AND gut problems Nottingham might accept that you have gluten ataxia. If you get neurological signs without gut damage then it's time to get in your wheelchair."


Monday, August 23, 2010

What Wheat Is Good For

While modern wheat prepared by modern processing isn't fit for anyone who isn't starving, this is a great application for this nearly non-food!!

Work Out, Feel Good? Of Course!

"For years, researchers have known that exercise can affect certain moods. Running, bike riding and other exercise programs have repeatedly been found to combat clinical depression. Similarly, a study from Germany published in April found that light-duty activity like walking or gardening made participants "happy," in the estimation of the scientists. Even laboratory rats and mice respond emotionally to exercise; although their precise "moods" are hard to parse, their behavior indicates that exercise makes them more relaxed and confident.
But what about anger, one of the more universal and, in its way, destructive moods? Can exercise influence how angry you become in certain situations?
A study presented at the most recent annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine provides some provocative if ambiguous answers. For the study, hundreds of undergraduates at the University of Georgia filled out questionnaires about their moods. From that group, researchers chose 16 young men with "high trait anger" or, in less technical terms, a very short fuse. They were, their questionnaires indicated, habitually touchy.
The researchers invited the men to a lab and had them fill out a survey about their moods at that moment. During the two days of the study, the men were each fitted with high-tech hairnets containing multiple sensors that could read electrical activity in the brain. Next, researchers flashed a series of slides across viewing screens set up in front of each young man. The slides, intended to induce anger, depicted upsetting events like Ku Klux Klan rallies and children under fire from soldiers, which were interspersed with more pleasant images. Electrical activity in the men's brains indicated that they were growing angry during the display. For confirmation, they described to researchers how angry they felt, using a numerical scale from 0 to 9.

On alternate days, after viewing the slides again (though always in a different order), the men either sat quietly or rode a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a moderate pace while their brain patterns and verbal estimations of anger were recorded. Afterward, the researchers examined how angry the volunteers became during each session.
The results showed that when the volunteers hadn't exercised, their second viewing of the slides aroused significantly more anger than the first. After exercise, conversely, the men's anger reached a plateau. They still became upset during the slide show - exercise didn't inure them to what they saw - but the exercise allowed them to end the session no angrier than they began it.
What the results of the study suggest is that "exercise, even a single bout of it, can have a robust prophylactic effect" against the buildup of anger, said Nathaniel Thom, a stress physiologist who was the study's lead researcher.
"It's like taking aspirin to combat heart disease," he said. "You reduce your risk."
When the men did not exercise, they had considerable difficulty controlling their racing emotion. But after exercise, they handled what they saw with more aplomb. Their moods were under firmer control.
The question of just how, physiologically, exercise blunts anger remains open. Mr. Thom and his colleagues did not test levels of stress hormones or brain chemicals in the test subjects. But earlier work by other scientists suggests that serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, probably played a role, Mr. Thom said. "Animal studies have found that low levels of serotonin are associated with aggression, which is our best analogue of anger in animals," he said. "Exercise increases serotonin levels in the rat brain." Low serotonin levels in humans are also thought to contribute to mood disorders.
Changes in the activity of certain genes within the brain may also have an impact. In a 2007 experiment at Yale University, researchers found that prolonged running altered the expression of almost three dozen genes associated with mood in the brains of laboratory mice. Mr. Thom says he hopes that future studies by himself and others will help to determine the specific underlying mechanisms that link exercise and a reduction of anger.
But for now, the lesson of his preliminary work, he said, is that "if you know that you're going to be entering into a situation that is likely to make you angry, go for a run first."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How to Think About Training

This is a great comment from Robb Wolf's blog, that illustrates the way to think about training and injury.  BLUF: there's no free lunch.  There's certainly some risk of injury (the largest risk is a slight injury with moderate pain and a short rehab period; risk of catastrophic injury is very low, far lower for example than playing competitive sports), but there's also risk of injury if one does not train.  We see every day the virtual certainty of loss of function through weakness - it's such a certainty, it's not correct to call that outcome a risk!  It simply will happen if one does not train in functional movements, thereby preserving the strength in the muscles that allow our bones to bear our weight and support or movement as they are designed to do.

The writer is Dallas Hartwig, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting, and I respect his expertise greatly, even if I see fitness from an every so slightly different perspective. 

"Let me throw my comments out there regarding spinal degenerative conditions, specifically degenerative disc disease (DDD). Since the client in question is an active duty police officer (can I jump on her patrol car?), I'm going to assuming she's 50 or under, just for the sake of discussion. Given that I don't have any real info about her, I'm also going to assume that she doesn't have any history of spinal surgery, spinal trauma, overt instability of the spine, or compressive neurological conditions/symptoms. Lots of people have degenerative changes (often inaccurately lumped under the general term of "arthritis") in their spines and have no symptoms, but even if she has some spinal pain from degenerative changes of the discs or vertebrae, there's no reason that she can't still continue to train for her physical fitness test. As people age (or simply abuse their spines with poor postures and insufficient muscular strength to stabilize their spine under load or at velocity), the discs, which act as "cushions" between the vertebrae, can become drier and more brittle, and can actually become substantially thinner as part of this "drying out" process. This means that there is less space between the vertebrae, and can cause pain in a couple indirect ways (one of which is shifting more of the compressive load to the facet joints between the vertebrae). But for this discussion, let's mostly talk about what the trainer who sent in the question could/should actually do with this client to help her prepare for her fitness test (and the rest of her life!). As already mentioned, it's totally okay to work on big, heavy movements with clients like this, but maintaining a neutral spinal position during any of the movements is extra, extra important for them. One of the worst things you can do for a disc (especially one that is already less than bombproof) is to change spinal position under load, i.e. loss of lumbar lordosis at the bottom of a squat, lumbar hyperextension at the lockout of a DL, etc. So pay special attention to the quality of movement, and realize that you may have to dial down the intensity for a while to really dial in the technique. (I wrote about this on our Whole9 site: http://whole9life.com/2010/01/client-or-patient/ ) The other thing I'll comment on is shock absorption strategies, since additional impact on an already compressed and/or irritated disc or facet joint (especially with suboptimal positioning) can really fire things up. I'd look at her footwear and running technique, because the long-stride-and-monster-heel-impact kind of running, especially with poor hip strength or funky foot mechanics, can really transmit impact from the ground up to the back, and that can be distinctly un-fun for your client. So maybe get her working on a POSE-type running pattern with less impact, though I wouldn't steer most people towards Five Fingers-type footwear just yet. Also, think twice before prescribing high-rep box jumps, depth jumps, double unders, long runs, or other higher impact activities unless the client is pretty damn strong and good at keeping good spinal and lower extremity positioning when doing these things. At least for now, while prepping for her fitness tests, teach her how to maintain midline stabilization (neutral spinal position) with a variety of big, strong movements, and avoid the long, high-rep metcons that in my observation end up degrading into a whole pile of ugly movements in the name of "intensity" (Read: http://whole9life.com/2009/12/beware-the-lure-of-the-sexy-met-con/ )


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Exercise Like A Savage

This is another great interview from Jimmy Moore's Living La Vida Low Carb show, the guest is Sally Fallon, President and Founder of the Weston A Price Foundation.
I love how they start off. Sally points out a couple of studies which show that primitive folks don't exercise more than city dwellers; but the primitives are healthy and fit. Do you suppose that's because they don't eat like city dwelling morons?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Dr. Graveline on Statins

http://www.spacedoc.net/ - This is the doctor's web site.

This is a podcast interview.

http://www.thelivinlowcarbshow.com/shownotes/?s=graveline  This is Jimmy Moore's outstanding interview with Dr. G.  This is worth the time to listen and digest - the Dr. makes a strong case.

Dr. Graveline has a fascinating story - NASA flight surgeon being just a part.  He was later prescribed lipitor, and suffered severe side effects.  After researching statins, he's found some fascinating statistics on statin mortality that are, to say the least, sobering.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Notes To Shi No Ubi - Portion Control?

While the following statement would be counter-intuitive to most, anyone that understands the carbohydrate hypothesis would immediately see the logic in this finding:
"Dietary factors may make people less inclined to exercise. An interesting finding in the Framingham study was that those who ate the most saturated fat, the most calories and the most cholesterol were the most physically active.5 They also weighed the least and had the lowest levels of serum cholesterol!"

When people talk about portion control, generally what they mean is they see obesity as a matter of folks eating too much.  If they talk about why they think folks eat too much, they are likely to discuss will power or lack of exercise, or possibly a 'toxic food environment.'  These thoughts parallel the assumption that people who are obese should simply eat less and exercise more.  In other words, they think what people eat is much less important than conscious control over energy intake and expenditure.  On the other hand, I think conscious control over energy intake and expenditure is not possible for most people who are eating the standard American diet (SAD).  Further, conscious control over energy intake and expenditure is unnecessary if we eat the right food.

I think some folks can manage their weight well by 'portion control' (whatever that is).  But the very concept of portion control begs this question:  why did paleolithic people remain lean when they had no idea how many calories they ate?  For most of us, if we eat the USDA recommended type of diet, and/or a diet laden with breads/pasta/sugared drinks/rice/potatoes/sweets and processed food bars, the metabolic processes these foods will set in motion will drive us to eat more food and/or be inactive.  This is exacerbated over time as the damage to our metabolic system accumulates. 

My version of portion control (but I never refer to it by that name), is to eat every meal based around a dose of protein.  How much you need is determined by your lean body mass and activity level, but here's a simple approach - eat a gram of protein per day for every pound of body weight, or as much of that as you are willing to eat, not less than 100 grams per day.  If you weigh over 130 pounds, that's going to be a lot of work.  As an example, I weight 210 pounds.  I can't eat that many grams of protein, so I eat about 30 grams of protein, four times per day, which is 120g, or ~500 to 600 kcal.  I add vegetables to lunch and dinner, and usually have a serving of fruit with lunch.  I estimate I'm getting 1000 kcal/day in meat, vegetables and fruit, and the rest of my intake is in fats from heavy cream, nuts and coconut oils.  I'm sustaining approximately 13% body fat, and a very healthy looking fasting lipid profile.

So to me, portion control means starting with good quality protein, and a lot of it.  After starting each meal with the good stuff, add some veggies to lunch, dinner and/or a snack.  If you stick to veggies - not bread, pasta, corn, potatoes, rice etc - you will have to work hard to eat 100g (400 kcal) per day.  Into this mix, add some fruit - a piece (or serving if you find blueberries, cherries, grapes or some such delicacy) or two per day.  If you find you are still hungry after this, add good quality fat.  Coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans and a few cashews.

Summary to this point:  If you manage to get 100g of protein down the hatch, and add up to 100g of quality carbohydrate, your total caloric intake will be between 800 and 1000 kcal (depending upon your protein source; salami will provide more calories, through fat, than chicken, for example).  This is often enough nutrition to meet what the body needs, it may only be lacking in energy.  The best way to add more calories without hormonal disruption is by adding the aforementioned source of quality fat.

If you skip the junk - grains, legumes, dairy, and sugar - you can eat what seems like a lot of food, and still maintain your health, energy and performance.  Portion control becomes a matter of keeping good sources of protein handy all day and working to eat enough of said protein. 

So, if someone I know argues for portion control, I say 'yes!  Eat a lot of protein and skip the junk and your body and appetite will do a very nice job of portion control!'  Otherwise, portion control is a fool's game - you cannot apportion the right amount of worthless junk food (grains, legumes sugar and processed dairy) to make you healthy and fit.

WOD Thursday 19 August, Deadlift & Baseline

Execute a 5 rep max deadlift, then:

Row 500m, 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 pushups, 10 pullups

Record your 5 rep max deadlift, and your time for the 'baseline'; make note of how much you scaled the pullups, if you used the gravitron.

Hyperlipid on Wheat Germ

The excerpt that follows is in regards to this paper in 2005 which "demonstrated direct intestinal cell toxicity at micro molar concentrations", and this paper, 2009 paper here:

"At nanomolar concentrations WGA stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and thus the biological activity of WGA should be reconsidered by taking into account the effects of WGA on the immune system at the gastrointestinal interface. These results shed new light onto the molecular mechanisms underlying the onset of gastrointestinal disorders observed in vivo upon dietary intake of wheat-based foods"

Notice there is no mention of coeliac disease, you do not need to be genetically predisposed by HLA type to have WGA toxicity. This looks to be yet more direct molecular toxicity.

Now we are talking nanomolar concentrations.

It's a bit difficult to get your head round a nanomole of WGA. One mole is the molecular weight expressed in grams. For WGA this is a BIG number of grams. A nanomole is not very much. So a nanomole is not very much of quite a lot of grams! Without struggling with the math I'd just suggest putting the bread in the bin and seeing if I could get out of my wheelchair as my gut integrity improved! An angry immune cell, looking at a soup of gut peptides, is not going to care what collateral damage it does.


What does it mean?  Even a tiny bit of wheat can be too much!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From Conditioning Research, Low Carb Benefit

Source link here:  Low carb diet plus interval training benefits fat loss.....

High-intensity exercise and carbohydrate-reduced energy-restricted diet in obese individuals
BLUF:  Diet alone had impact on metabolic factors, diet and exercise had additional benefits but on different parameters.  "You cannot out-train a bad diet."

Blistering Critique of the USDA Guidelines - via Hyperlipid

This links to a nice video of the USDA guidelines 'getting called out'.


Fran - tastic effort (late post).  The WOD was "FRAN" - 21-15-9 reps of thrusters/pullups, for time.

Angela - 6.20 w 25#DB/85# gtron scaling
JK - 60#/85# scaling and finished at 12 mins - but really forced his way through a 'bad day at the office.'
Star - sub 6.53 minutes with 20# DB, 130# pullups assist.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Breakfast With No Wheat

Another great post by Dr. Davis on how to have a breakfast without wheat/gluten.  Besides the benefits of getting of the wheat (opiates, glutin, lectins, and skyrocketing blood sugar), the metabolic impact of providing what you body does need - protein primarily with fat also providing good nutrition  - but leaving out what your body does not need - hormonal disruption resulting from too much carbohydrate - is all positive.  By staying at low or zero carbs in the morning, the body will continue to utilize fat for energy (while the brain sips on glucose), and it may continue to generate ketones as well.  The body has already been carb free for a while - from your last meal at night until the morning, perhaps 10 hours - and not adding a lot of carbohydrate to the breakfast mix means that all the good things the body does to maintain itself (when not burdened with processing a big dose of sugar) will continue.  From the perspective of the paleolithic model, what are the odds that the hunter-gather awakened to a bowl of cherios and milk (or anything even remotely that dense in carbs) every day?  More likely, he or she was back at the fire pit picking over the bones and other leftovers.

Dr. Davis starts by pointing out that wheat free leaves many options: "Actually, there's plenty left to eat. It just may not look like the traditional American notion of "breakfast." (The traditional idea of breakfast was is, in part, due to the legacy of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who, in the latter part of the 19th century, ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek Michigan. He and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, discovered the idea of turning grains into flakes, the birth of the breakfast cereal. Subscribe to the idea of breakfast cereal for breakfast and you subscribe to the ideas of a man who would administer four enemas for you today to cure your cancer or rheumatism.)

Here are a few ideas. By no means is this meant to be a comprehensive list, just a starting point for a few new breakfast food ideas.

--Eggs--Of course, eat the yolk. Eat three yolks. Scrambled, "fried," (not really deep-fried, of course), hard-boiled, poached, as an omelette. Add pesto, olive oil, vegetables, mushrooms, salsa.

--Ground flaxseed--As a hot cereal with your choice of water, milk (not my favorite because of insulin effects; the fat is immaterial), full-fat soy milk (yeah, yeah, I know), unsweetened almond milk. Add walnuts, blueberries, etc. Ground flaxseed is the only grain I know of that contains no digestible carbohydrates.

--Lunch and dinner--Yes, if you cannot have breakfast foods for breakfast, then have lunch and dinner, meaning incorporating foods you ordinarily regard as lunch and dinner foods into your day's first meal. This means salads, leftover chicken from last night, soup, raw vegetables dipped in hummus or guacamole, stir fry, etc.

--Cheese--For something quick, grab a chunk of gouda or emmentaler along with a handful of raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans. Because of the excess acidity of cheese (along with meats, among the most acidifying of foods), I usually try to include something like a raw pepper or avocado, foods that are net alkaline.

--Avocados--Cut in half, scoop out contents. They're quick and delicious, when available.

I couldn't overemphasize how much I have learned from Dr. Davis' approach, and how grateful I am for his blog posts.  My father and brother are doctors, and so I don't see doctors in a negative light - but to find a doctor who is so expert at healing without drugs ... I admire that very much.  I'd like to know what percentage of cardiologists, when presented with a patient that's a good candidate for statins or sugical interventions, instead gets them eating in a way that eliminates their illness.  I suspect the percentage would be low.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kindle Subscribers

Thanks, and sorry for the long missed batch of posts - that resulted from my inexperience with Bloggger settings.  BTW - if you have any content issues - can't see the text well enough, would like to see more information on a particular topic, etc - please feel free to email me at "peoneninesevennineseven at gmail dot com".  All feedback gratefully accepted.  Also, I welcome questions and would gladly use yours annonymously or otherwise as the basis of a post.  Thanks, Paul

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eades Chews On The China Study

"Once I saw that the original China study was nothing but a huge number of correlations, I quickly lost interest. What is the point in going through the brain damage of ferreting around in these to see if Dr. Campbell interpreted them correctly when he tries to make his case that a plant-based diet is optimal. It doesn't really matter whether he interprets them correctly or not, they are only correlations. Repeat after me one last time: Correlation is not causation, correlation is not causation, correlation is not causation."


Friday, August 13, 2010

Jeff Volek on USDA Food Guidelines

Here's the nugget from Dr. Volek's comments:

"4th Point – In respect to low carbohydrate diets posing a health risk, many research teams have repeatedly shown that low carbohydrate diets are more likely than low fat diets to effect global improvement in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabetes, and many forms of obesity are all manifestations of carbohydrate intolerance. Therefore carbohydrate restriction is a fully rational approach for these people. Considering that 2 in 3 are overweight and a majority of those people likely have some degree of insulin resistance, we are conservatively talking about several million people who stand to benefit from a diet less than 45% carbohydrate. The markers that show the most consistent improvement in response to a low carbohydrate diet are plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, LDL particle size, inflammatory markers, and vascular function. Since low carbohydrate diets bias metabolism to burning fat, saturated fat levels in the body actually decrease on a low carbohydrate diet."

My Comments on DGAC Report on Proposed 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines

by Jeff Volek, Ph.D., Nutrition and Metabolism Society
My comments pertain to Safety and Effectiveness of Low Carbohydrate Diets.  To establish credibility on this topic since there seems to be no shortage of experts in nutrition, I’m a PhD-trained researcher and registered dietitian, and I have conducted a large amount research on low carbohydrate diets including author/co-author of 23 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts examining how humans adapt to low carbohydrate diets, 7 studies in animals, and 14 review papers.
The key statement in the DGAC Report is:
“Diets that are less than 45% carbohydrate or more than 35% protein are difficult to adhere to, are not more effective than other calorie-controlled diets for weight loss and weight maintenance, and may pose health risk, and are therefore not recommended for weight loss or maintenance.”
In other words the DGAC report is telling ALL Americans to consume at least 45% of their calories as carbohydrate, and there is no benefit of consuming less than this amount.
1st Point – “Diets less than 45% carbohydrate are difficult to adhere to.”  is not accurate.  Reported rates of attrition in studies comparing low carbohydrate diets to low fat diets show similar if not better adherence to diets lower in carbohydrate. It also seems at odds with the millions of adults currently following a low carbohydrate diet. Even if this premise is accepted, just because a diet might be ‘difficult to adhere to’, does not mean we should abandon ship. It’s also difficult to quit smoking, but that does not dissuade us from promoting smoking cessation.
2nd Point – On the issue of not recommending diets greater than 35% protein, I agree with this position. But the report often incorrectly uses the terms low carbohydrate and high protein interchangeably. Sustainable low carbohydrate diets contain adequate but not excessive protein.
3rd Point – On the issue of low carbohydrate diets “not being more effective than other calorie-controlled diets for weight loss and weight maintenance”…In all comparisons of any duration, low carbohydrate diets do at least as well and sometimes better than control low fat diets. A major limitation in long-term studies is compliance, and after 6-12 months diet groups are usually consuming something that resembles their habitual diet and so it is not surprising weight loss/maintenance is similar.
4th Point – In respect to low carbohydrate diets posing a health risk, many research teams have repeatedly shown that low carbohydrate diets are more likely than low fat diets to effect global improvement in insulin resistance. Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, diabetes, and many forms of obesity are all manifestations of carbohydrate intolerance. Therefore carbohydrate restriction is a fully rational approach for these people. Considering that 2 in 3 are overweight and a majority of those people likely have some degree of insulin resistance, we are conservatively talking about several million people who stand to benefit from a diet less than 45% carbohydrate. The markers that show the most consistent improvement in response to a low carbohydrate diet are plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, LDL particle size, inflammatory markers, and vascular function. Since low carbohydrate diets bias metabolism to burning fat, saturated fat levels in the body actually decrease on a low carbohydrate diet.
In summary, the one-size-fits-all approach that encouraged people to eat less fat and consume complex carbohydrates has been unsuccessful for many (if not the majority) of us.  The recommendation to consume roughly half the calories from carbohydrate is problematic for the growing number of people with obesity and underlying insulin resistance. I strongly encourage USDA to support a lower range of carbohydrate which will help many people better manage their obesity and insulin resistance.
Jeff Volek is a research scientist and Associate Professor at the University of Connecticutt Neag School of Education. He holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, an M.S. in Exercise Scientce, He is an R.D. and has a B.S. in Dietetics. He is a member of the Nutrition and Metabolism Societyand serves on their Scientific Board.
His primary area of research is focused on physiological adaptations to low carbohydrate diets with emphasis on outcomes related to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. He primarily uses prospective diet and/or exercise interventions and sophisticated cellular techniques to understand changes in adiposity, fatty acid and lipoprotein metabolism, inflammation, vascular function, and endocrine adaptations. His recent studies have suggested a shift in understanding the role of dietary carbohydrate restriction. Long considered primarily a stratagem for weight loss, reduction in dietary carbohydrate is now understood to lead to improvements in metabolic syndrome and other cardiac risk factors, even in the absence of weight loss and frequently even in the presence of higher levels of saturated fat. Another major area of research has been in the general area of sports nutrition, including studies evaluating a wide range of dietary supplements on exercise performance and overall health.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life is not a Spectator Sport

"We are constantly being warned to check with our physicians before beginning athletics. Play and games evidently can be risky business. What we are not told are the risks of not beginning athletics-that the most dangerous sport of all is watching it from the stands.
           The weakest among us can become some kind of athlete, but only the strongest can survive as spectators. Only the hardiest can withstand the perils of inertia, inactivity, and immobility. Only the most resilient can cope with the squandering of time, the deterioration in fitness, the loss of creativity, the frustration of emotions, and the dulling of moral sense that can afflict the dedicated spectator.
           Physiologists have suggested that only those who can pass the most rigorous physical examination can safely follow the sedentary life. Man was not made to remain at rest. Inactivity is completely unnatural to the body. And what follows is a breakdown of the body's equilibrium.
           When the beneficial effects of activity on the heart and circulation and indeed on all the body's systems are absent, everything measurable begins to go awry.
           Up goes the girth of the waist and the body weight. Up goes blood pressure and heart rate. Up goes cholesterol and triglycerides. Up goes everything you would like to go down and down everything you would like to go up. Down goes vital capacity and oxygen consumption. Down goes flexibility and efficiency, stamina and strength. Fitness fast becomes a memory.
           The seated spectator is not a thinker, he is a knower. Unlike the athlete who is still seeking his own experience, who leaves himself open to truth, the spectator has closed the ring. His thinking has become rigid knowing. He has enclosed himself in bias and partisanship and prejudice. He has ceased to grow.
           And it is growth he needs most to handle the emotions thrust upon him, emotions he cannot act out in any satisfactory way. He is , you see, an incurable distance from the athlete and participation in the effort is the athlete's release, the athlete's catharsis. He is watching people who have everything he wants and cannot get. They are having all the fun: the fun of playing, the fun of winning, even the fun of losing. They are having the physical exhaustion which is the quickest way to fraternity and equality, the exhaustion which permits you to be not only a good winner but a good loser.
           Because the spectator cannot experience what the athlete is experiencing, the fan is seldom a good loser. The emphasis on winning is therefore much more of a problem for the spectator than the athlete. The losing fan, filled with emotions which have no healthy outlet, is likely to take it out on his neighbor, the nearest inanimate object, the umpires, the stadium or the game itself. It is easier to dry out a drunk, take someone off hard drugs or watch a three-pack-a-day smoker go cold turkey than live with a fan during a long losing streak.
           Should a spectator pass all these physical and mental and emotional tests, he still has another supreme challenge to his integrity. He is part of a crowd, part of a mob. He is with those the coach in The Games called, "The nothingmen, those oafs in the stands filling their bellies." And when someone is in a crowd, out go his individual standards of conduct and morality. He acts in concert with his fellow spectators and descends two or three rungs on the evolutionary ladder. He slips backward down the development tree.
           From the moment you become a spectator, everything is downhill."


Dr. Davis Writes to Shi No Ubi


"Consume wheat products, like poppyseed muffins, raisin bagels, and whole grain bread, and you trigger the 90- to 120-minute glucose-insulin cycle.
Blood glucose goes way up (more than almost any other known food), triggering insulin release from the pancreas. Glucose enters cells as a result, blood glucose plummets. You get hungry, shaky, and crabby, reach for another wheat or other sugar-generating food to start the roller coaster ride all over again.
Repetitive insulin triggering grows this thing I call a "wheat belly," the protuberant, hang-over-the-belt fat you see everywhere nowadays. Wheat belly fat is really visceral fat. Visceral fat means you have fat kidneys, fat intestines, fat pancreas, and fat liver, all causing the belly to protrude in the familiar way we've all come to recognize.
Visceral fat is special fat. Unlike the fat in the backside, thighs, or arms, visceral fat triggers inflammatory responses that are evident in such measures as tumor necrosis factor, interleukins, and leptin, as well as drops in the protective hormone, adiponectin.
Visceral fat also, oddly, triggers estrogen release. Estrogen triggers growth of breast tissue. That's why females with wheat bellies have up to four-fold (400%) greater likelihood of breast cancer."

In short, instead of following the ADA diet, at least skip the wheat and sugar products. Then ensure you build all meals around a healthy portion of protein - at least 20 grams (30 would be better). Add additional fat to support your activity level (macadamias, walnuts, pastured butter, coconut oil) and desired leanness, and round out the meal with veggies as desired."

WOD Thursday 12 August

Tabata Rowing, record the meters you covered (slow pace to keep wheel/computer running during the rest interval):
Tabata situp/ball throw (sit up throw med ball to partner, he/she throws back to start next situp), record reps:
Shoulder press, 3RM:

Adele Hite on USDA Food Guidelines

My Testimony to the USDA and HHS Regarding the Proposed 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines

Obesity and diabetes in America have reached crisis proportions because the US government, through its Dietary Guidelines, continues to send mixed messages about what healthy food really is—messages that support the food industry, rather than the health of the American public.
While I commend the Committee’s recommendation to reduce consumption of processed foods and their new focus on the social and environmental causes of obesity, they nevertheless remain entrenched in the nutritional status quo that has shaped the toxic food environment that has produced our obesity and diabetes crisis in the first place.
The Committee’s emphasis on low-fat, whole-grain food products not only encourages consumers to purchase food products instead of real food, it supports the food industry in passing off these highly-processed food-like substances as “healthy” food choices.  While the Committee pays lip-service to health care reform’s emphasis on evidence-based recommendations, it continues to disregard or misrepresent science that does not support a diet based on highly processed grain, cereal, and dairy products.
The strain of trying to appease the food industry and address the obesity problem at the same time shows in the self-contradictions inherent in the Committee’s recommendations.  The Committee’s exhortation that Americans should adopt a “plant-based” diet is disingenuous at best.  The American diet is already “plant-based”—those plants are corn, wheat, and soy, the USDA’s top 3 commodity crops, plants that are low in nutrition and barely edible unless they are transformed by chemicals, additives preservatives, thickeners, spray-on vitamins and fillers into products that bear labels that proclaim that they are “whole grain” and “low fat.”  Yet these foods contribute little to our nutrition and a great deal to the profits of food companies and to the excess calories that cause the weight gain and metabolic dysfunction that leads to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The Institute of Medicine’s 2005 Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) states:  “Compared to higher fat diets, low fat, high carbohydrate diets may modify the metabolic profile in ways that are considered to be unfavorable with respect to chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes.”  (DRI, Ch. 8, 437).  That means that according to the science reviewed by the Institute of Medicine, the diet low in fat and high in cereal and grain carbohydrates that the Committee is recommending is a diet that creates a metabolic profile that leads to heart disease and diabetes.
If the Committee truly wants to improve the health of Americans, it needs to begin by changing its definition about what constitutes a healthy diet.    By recommending, as the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee does, that Americans consume more “whole grain” and “low fat dairy” products, they obscure the fact that most foods carrying these labels are anything but wholesome and healthy.
It’s time for the Committee to stop expecting the American public to make sense of the claims on food product labels, and start recommending that Americans base their diet on whole foods that do not require a label in the first place.
We have only to look around to see the effect of the past few decades of low-fat, whole grain food product advice.  Our outdated Food Pyramid, bottom heavy with processed foods, is supposed to illustrate a “balanced” diet.  But let’s face it, there’s nothing balanced about a pyramid.  Wide at the bottom and shrunken at the top, Americans have taken on its shape by following its advice.  It’s time to dismantle that structure and rebuild it with solid science and real food.
Adele Hite is a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently working her MPH/RD and about to embark upon a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology.  She has worked with patients struggling with overweight /obesity and type 2 diabetes at the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic.  She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society.  She lives with her husband in Durham, NC, where she is a yoga instructor, mother of three, and budding song-writer.