Tips To Lift Nutritional Excellence in 2015 from Dr. P., DC (Updated)
Happy New Year!
In the past I have written a couple of posts outlining what I view as nutritional excellence. If you are already eating in a colorful and sensible fashion and exercising a bit, below are a few ideas you might consider in 20015 in an effort to add an exclamation point(!)
We absolutely need good fats. Many of us do not get enough of the best kinds of fat and maybe too much of the bad kinds. Healthy fats elevate an enzyme called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). This lipase affects the body’s fat burning capability. HSL is responsible for moving fatty acids out of fat cells to be burned as energy elsewhere, increasing overall fat burning.
What are good fats?
Nuts (almonds, pecans, macadamia, walnuts, brazil nuts), hard cheeses in moderation, avocados, cold water fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, cod), coconut oil, hemp, flaxseed, olive oil, krill and olives are a few.
I take two to four tablespoons of coconut oil each day. Start with one tablespoon the first day and build over a few days. You may experience digestive disturbance if you go straight to four. Coconut oil is good for your heart, and stimulates metabolism. It is primarily composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s). It doesn’t have to be broken down through your liver. The calories from coconut oil go directly into your cells as energy for the body.
It sounds counterintuitive, but good fats will help keep you lean and active. Don’t miss out on the fun.
Cut out or limit the bad; hydrogenated oils and trans fats (read labels).
Avoid eating late; especially sweets. Eating simple carbs at night can trigger leptin and insulin resistance. Leptin signals fullness so you want the body to respond to it or you will feel hungry. As well, when you eat highly sweet food the body releases cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone and reduces human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone. Both are essential for repair of tissue in both men and women. As well, a decrease in one or both reduces the body’s ability to burn fat and sugar. If you must eat late, turn to smaller amounts of protein or good fats.
Drink Lots of Tea (and some coffee) early in the day so as not to impact sleep. Both are full of health benefits. I am seeking to get close to thirty two ounces of real unsweetened tea (steeped with four loose bags) down before lunch.
Studies continue to show the benefits of resveratrol. Resveratrol elevates HDL’s (high-density lipoproteins) and enhances circulation. It’s also high in antioxidants. The combination helps prevents heart disease and protects against artery damage. It is found in dark grape skin and red wine. As you have probably read, one to two glasses of red wine can be helpful to some (sounds Mediterranean, doesn’t it?)
For those of us who are not drinking any alcohol, resveratrol can be found in capsule form. Ha!! No excuses. I take three supplements (beyond high quality protein) that can be hard to source nutritionally: 5000IU of VitD3 // COQ10 // and resveratrol.
Recall, all calories are not broken down and assimilated similarly and they send messages to our brain to use them in different ways.
Excessive intake of sugary simple carbohydrates and bad fats are run through the liver and can lead to abdominal fat, a leading indicator of negative risk factors (heart attack, stroke, cancer and diabetes). As mentioned, simple carbohydrates in excess can leave you with a blunted perceptions of satiation and lead to eating when it is not needed. Instead, squeeze a slice of lemon into a glass of water. A lemon has the lowest level of fructose found in any simple carbohydrate. The current science in favor of a healthy nutritional plan high in good fat and low in sugar is very strong.
Lean into your fitness this year and next. Take it to the edge and put it out there as a gift to your family and or your community who may not know how to get started, need motivation or are stuck in a perceived comfort zone.
Healthfully in 2015 …
Dr. Kevin Purcell is also known as KP here at TMV. Dr Purcell, D.C., works with long course triathletes; from elite to those new to endurance sport. Coach KP has guided dozens of athletes to qualification to the Ironman World Championships in Kona. He is certified in Active Release Technique (ART) and has done medical rounds at the US Olympic Training Center in San Diego.