Day 26: Why You Should Avoid Polyunsaturated Fats

 

Day 26:  Why You Should Avoid Polyunsaturated Fats

Over the course of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge our Daily Recap videos  will be where I post the notes I have written for the talks I do in the FaceBook Group each night.  Hopefully this will make what we are talking about easier to follow for everyone that wants to join us in the challenge.  You can see each of the 28 Day Challenge recap posts here.  Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to never miss an video.

 

With just a few days left in our 28 Day Challenge, I want to spend the next 2 days talking about something I haven’t spent a lot of time on but just mentioned a few times throughout the challenge, oils.  If you have noticed, most of the oils I’ve asked you to eat more of like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, etc. are either saturated on monounsaturated fats.  Why is that and why do I want you to avoid polyunsaturated fats?  That is what we will be focusing on today.

 

We’ve discussed how oxygen can be a harmful substance in your body.   Oxygen causes harmful reactions within your cells that require antioxidants to limit the damage it does.

 

Oxygen also reacts with the fats we eat.  It doesn’t do anything to saturated fats, reacts in a very minimal way with monounsaturated fats, but causes all kinds of damage to polyunsaturated fats, breaking them down into a range of dangerous chemicals that destroy the integrity of any cell made from fat.  I.e. Every cell in your body.

 

Oxidated fats can lead to the random destruction and out of control cellular growth called cancer and can create lesions on the heart that lead to heart disease.  Both of these processes are made worse by the large amounts of sugar most of us are eating as well.

 

New research is also starting to suggest that polyunsaturated fats, in particular the Omega 6 fats that are dominate in most seed oils, may lie behind the massive increase in diseases as diverse as macular degeneration, allergies and even asthma.

 

At no point in human history were we ever been subjected to the massive amounts of fructose and omega 6 fats that we currently have in our diet so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we haven’t developed the ability to handle them in a healthy way.

 

Ever since the 1950s, the medical community has told us that to avoid heart problems, all you have to do is avoid saturated fat and keep your cholesterol low.  That is exactly what we have done as a nation and the number of people with heart disease has done nothing but increase.  It should be noted here that cardiovascular deaths has fallen because the medical community has made huge strides in early diagnosis and treatment of CVD, but the numbers of people who have it still rise.

 

Every bit of new research that has come out has told us that it is the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats that are then transported by cholesterol through the bloodstream that is causing the bulk of the issues, not the cholesterol directly.  I firmly believe that there will be a day that this fact will be the mainstream opinion of the medical community but it might take a generation for the old guard to die off for that to happen.

All notes taken from information found in Fat Chance by Dr Lustig, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, Grain Brain by Dr PerlmutterThe Angriest Trainer Podcast and Jimmy Moore’s Podcasts.

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Day 25: 5 Simple Ways to increase Brain Health

 

Day 25: 5 Simple Ways to increase Brain Healt

Over the course of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge our Daily Recap videos  will be where I post the notes I have written for the talks I do in the FaceBook Group each night.  Hopefully this will make what we are talking about easier to follow for everyone that wants to join us in the challenge.  You can see each of the 28 Day Challenge recap posts here.  Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to never miss an video.

You have probably heard people say that they are likely to get disease x because it runs in their family.   We know that genetics plays a role in many diseases but what you may not know is the role of epigenetics in your health.  Epigenetics is the study of the the different marks in your DNA that that tell certain genes when and how strongly they should become active.

 

We now know that our day to day life style choices play an important role in our health at the epigenetic level.  Exercise, sleep, diet, stress, even our relationships play huge roles in health.  In fact we can influence up to 70% of the genes that determine our overall health just by changing those factors that influence our epigenetics.

 

Did you know that you can make new brain cells?  It was long thought that nerves and brain tissue were immutable and unchangeable and once they were dead, they were dead forever.  New science called neuroplasticity tells us that you can actually create new brain cells by provoking a gene located on chromosome 11 to create “brain-derived neurotrophic factor,” or BDNF.  BDNF plays a key role in creating new neurons. But beyond its role in neurogenesis, BDNF protects existing neurons, ensuring their survivability while encouraging synapse formation, the connection of one neuron to another—a process vital for thinking, learning, and higher levels of brain function. Studies have demonstrated decreased levels of BDNF in Alzheimer’s patients, which, based on an understanding of how BDNF works, should not come as a surprise. What is perhaps more surprising is the association of BDNF with a variety of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We now have a firm understanding of the factors that influence our DNA to produce BDNF. And fortunately, these factors are mostly under our direct control. The gene that turns on BDNF is activated by a variety of lifestyle habits, including physical exercise, caloric restriction, following a ketogenic diet, and the addition of certain nutrients like curcumin and the omega-3 fat DHA.

 

Exercise

 

Physical exercise is one of the most potent ways of changing your genes; put simply, when you exercise, you literally exercise your genes. Aerobic exercise in particular not only turns on genes linked to longevity, but also targets the BDNF gene, the brain’s “growth hormone.” More specifically, aerobic exercise has been shown to increase BDNF, reverse memory decline in elderly humans, and actually increase growth of new brain cells in the brain’s memory center.

 

Calorie Restriction

 

In January 2009, for example, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science published a study in which German researchers compared two groups of elderly individuals—one that reduced their calories by 30 percent and another that was allowed to eat whatever they wanted. The researchers were interested in whether changes could be measured between the two groups’ memory function. At the conclusion of the three-month study, those who were free to eat without restriction experienced a small, but clearly defined decline in memory function, while memory function in the group on the reduced-calorie diet improved dramatically.

 

If restricting your calories sounds difficult, keep in mind that when you were eating a Standard American Diet, a big chunk of your daily calories were coming from sugar.  Once you cut out the sugar and grains, I can almost guarantee you that you also cut your total caloric intake.

 

Ketogenic Diet

 

Eating healthy fats and no carbs helps the body create ketones which are an alternate fuel source for the body from glucose.  While science typically has looked at the liver as the main source of ketone production in human physiology, it is now recognized that the brain can also produce ketones in special cells called astrocytes. These ketone bodies are profoundly neuroprotective. They decrease free radical production in the brain, increase mitochondrial biogenesis, and stimulate production of brain-related antioxidants. Furthermore, ketones block the apoptotic pathway that would otherwise lead to self-destruction of brain cells.

 

To quote Gary Taubes, “In fact, we can define this mild ketosis as the normal state of human metabolism when we’re not eating the carbohydrates that didn’t exist in our diets for 99.9 percent of human history. As such, ketosis is arguably not just a natural condition but even a particularly healthful one.”

 

Curcumin and DHA

 

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric and is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial agent. Most interesting is its ability to increase BDNF in people who use it.  We now think it is the reason why rates of dementia are so low in cultures where turmeric is an important part of the diet.

 

DHA is another brain boosting molecule that has been shown to be important to brain health.  More than 2 thirds of our brain is fat and a quarter of that fat is DHA.  Adequate DHA in our diet is important for many of the membranes and synapses within the brain.   It also has anti-inflammatory qualities in the brain and the entire body.  DHA is synthesized by the body from an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.

 

We also know that challenging yourself intellectually leads to long-term brain health so read a book or do a crossword puzzle.

All notes taken from information found in Fat Chance by Dr Lustig, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, Grain Brain by Dr PerlmutterThe Angriest Trainer Podcast and Jimmy Moore’s Podcasts.

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Day 24: Sugar and Premature Aging

 

Day 24: Sugar and Premature Aging

Over the course of our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge our Daily Recap videos  will be where I post the notes I have written for the talks I do in the FaceBook Group each night.  Hopefully this will make what we are talking about easier to follow for everyone that wants to join us in the challenge.  You can see each of the 28 Day Challenge recap posts here.  Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to never miss an video.

In previous lessons we have talked about the fact that diabetes and dementia seem to be caused by the same metabolic causes.Today I’m going to try and break down exactly what is going on in our heads when this is happening.

In 2008 the Mayo Clinic published an article in the Archives of Neurology looking at the effects of the duration of diabetes.  In other words, does the longer you have diabetes play a role in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.  You bet. The numbers are eye-popping: According to the Mayo’s findings, if diabetes began before a person was sixty-five years old, the risk for mild cognitive impairment was increased by a whopping 220 percent. And the risk of mild cognitive impairment in individuals who had diabetes for ten years or longer was increased by 176 percent. If people were taking insulin, their risk was increased by 200 percent. The authors described a proposed mechanism to explain the connection between persistent high blood sugar and Alzheimer’s disease: “increased production of advanced glycation end products.” Just what are these glycation end products cropping up in the medical literature in reference to cognitive decline and accelerated aging?  Let’s take a look.

 

Much in the way we now know that dozens of degenerative diseases are linked by inflammation, we also know that dozens of those same diseases—including type 2 diabetes, cataracts, atherosclerosis, emphysema, and dementia—are linked to deformed proteins.  These abnormal proteins have the ability to confiscate the health of other cells, turning normal cells into misfits that lead to brain damage and dementia. It’s similar to cancer in that one cell hijacks the normal regulation of another cell and creates a new tribe of cells that don’t act like healthy ones.

 

Proteins must be able to achieve a specific 3 Dimensional shape to be able to do it’s job, if a protein is deformed it will start doing something it shouldn’t do and cause damage to the cells around it.

 

So what causes a protein to be be deformed?  For that we need to look at those glycation end products.  Glycation is the biochemical term for the bonding of sugar molecules to proteins, fats, and amino acids; the spontaneous reaction that causes the sugar molecule to attach itself is sometimes referred to as the Maillard reaction.

 

This process forms advanced glycation end products (commonly shortened, appropriately, to AGEs), which cause protein fibers to become misshapen and inflexible. To get a glimpse of AGEs in action, simply look at someone who is prematurely aging—someone with a lot of wrinkles, sagginess, discolored skin, and a loss of radiance for their age. What you’re seeing is the physical effect of proteins hooking up with renegade sugars, which explains why AGEs are now considered key players in skin aging.  Or check out a chain-smoker: The yellowing of the skin is another hallmark of glycation. Smokers have fewer antioxidants in their skin, and the smoking itself increases oxidation in their bodies and skin. So they cannot combat the by-products of normal processes like glycation because their bodies’ antioxidant potential is severely weakened and, frankly, overpowered by the volume of oxidation.

 

Sugars in particular are rapid stimulators of glycation, as they easily attach themselves to proteins in the body.  The number one source of dietary calories in America comes from high-fructose corn syrup, which increases the rate of glycation by a factor of ten.

 

When proteins become glycated, at least two important things happen. First, they become much less functional. Second, once proteins become bonded to sugar, they tend to attach themselves to other similarly damaged proteins and form cross-linkages that further inhibit their ability to function. But perhaps far more important is that once a protein is glycated, it becomes the source of a dramatic increase in the production of free radicals. This leads to the destruction of tissues, damaging fat, other proteins, and even DNA.

 

The best way to keep AGEs from forming and keep the damage from the glycation process at a minimum is to limit your sugar intake.
This glycation process also explains why LDL was thought to be a “bad cholesterol” for so many years.  We now understand that it is when LDL becomes glycated that its oxidation becomes dramatically increased. The link between oxidative stress and sugar cannot be overstated. When proteins are glycated, the amount of free radicals formed is increased fiftyfold; this leads to loss of cellular function and eventually cell death.

All notes taken from information found in Fat Chance by Dr Lustig, Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, Grain Brain by Dr PerlmutterThe Angriest Trainer Podcast and Jimmy Moore’s Podcasts.

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