Is Broth the New Black?

What’s all the buzz? – A functional food with value and whose time has come.

This hot, clear satisfying liquid provides 20 gms. of protein in just 16 ozs. The broth comes in a powder or liquid form and is often combined with sage, ginger, curry and other herbs in these prepared products. It’s available on most grocery store shelves and at most all health food stores. There is also a lot of instruction online how to make your own too.

Clinically important is the hydrolyzed collagen content which is 50% of the total amino acid profile from the prominent amino acids; glycine, lysine and proline.

As we know, collagen is beneficial in replacing the synovial fluids between the joints and secondly, to repair and build cartilage weakened by overuse through impact and stress. Our bodies are made up of 30% collagen of which 70% is connective tissue. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate is part of what the melted down bones, the broth, yield providing a joint healing effect.

There is a considerable amount of calcium and magnesium and trace amounts of other bone building minerals in a serving. And there is a gut healing effect and an overall anti-inflammatory quality.

This collagen is more easily digested and thus absorbed because of its low molecular weight and the delivery format as a liquid creating a quicker absorption rate, within 30 minutes. All of the amino acids collectively are beneficial to cell reproduction, but it is the distinctive amino acid spectrum of this product that impacts the metabolic pathways to healthy tissues.

This is a full serving of protein we can drink without the negative things we face with some prepared foods we often reach for on the run. It’s not fried, there is almost no saturated fats and there’s absolutely no gluten or dairy. It is low in carbohydrates, for 16 ounces, approximately 6 gms.

Perhaps one of the best features is it is quick and easy. Just mix and/or just heat up and sip! As you can see, this is a low calorie, clean choice for many patients for dietary protein.

Not Your Typical Weight Loss

This is probably not the first article that you have read on weight loss so let me get right down to the point, the focus of my approach with my patients;

I address weight loss as much as I address the factors of “dis – ease”. These are the physical, endocrine, gastrointestinal and neurological factors that so often hamper our bodies to do what they’re supposed to do when we are eating well, taking supplements and even exercising. – But maybe are not seeing the results that we think we should.

The first thing we do is address your nutritional status.

Your nutritional intake status will always be the core of ANY upgrade to your health whether you want to lose weight or circumvent chronic diseases. Included below are examples of chronic issues I consult patients for on a daily basis with successful outcomes.

  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep dysfunction
  • candida (yeast overgrowth)
  • pre-diabetes
  • UTIs (urinary tract infections)
  • constipation
  • GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease)
  • resistant weight loss
  • headaches

Our bodies need nutrients to function

We were designed to eat all the macronutrients each day; protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber and water too. One may need guidance with what, how and even when to eat. It is confusing these days as there is a lot of erroneous information and claims out there. Our food supply is also changing and we have to pay more attention to what is in our food and from where it is grown and how it gets to us.

We provide knowledge about actual food and meals. We specifically address what foods will work for you and fit into your lifestyle and schedule so you can achieve your goals. Subtle changes in the diet can truly impact in downgrading disease and increase vitality.

In my practice, for example

I worked with a patient, a relatively healthy individual that couldn’t shed excess adipose (fat) and retained water (bloat). Water and fiber intake were fairly substantial and even with starting a more consistent, 30% increase in weekly exercise and more positive meals (more nutritious, less processed) for more than a month. – Hardly any loss! – Needless to say, the patient was frustrated.

This patient, upon stating our plan revealed that BMs (Bowel Movements) were only up to 4 times per week.
This is where a bit of clinical intervention is crucial. With targeted dietary and supplement changes daily elimination was achieved and normal weight loss followed. Learning to have managed this has been a lifelong change for this patient

These types of chronic issues too often are initially treated with over-the-counter medications and even prescription drugs when the first approach should be “correcting” the body naturally and holistically. Restored function, in this case weight loss, can be achieved with some macro-nutrient re-distribution and targeted supplementation.

So you see, we do need to consider the bodies’ deficiencies and dysfunctions and target the natural approaches that create a well working machine.

If you suffer from “chronic diseases” which are clinically known as; long standing signs and symptoms that are not resolved with medications, not prevented by vaccines and never become self-limiting – you need to upgrade your health. – Otherwise, your bodily systems will be continually taxed and other functions like fighting infections, viral overloads, daily rejuvenation and weight loss will continually be lacking.

I invite you to DO IT NOW, manage your chronic challenges and create your best you.

Call us at 732-685-3171 to request a consultation or contact us online. We see patients in our Monmouth County, NJ office and on line, via Skype.

Fat and Oil Consumption – What’s Wrong?

When considering fats and oils (F/O) there is a particular problem in that we now consume much less of the healthy, anti-inflammatory sources, oils containing Omega-3s and we have increased our consumption of mostly toxic, artery clogging, pro-inflammatory sources of the Omega-6 types.

Probably the first thing that comes to mind is red meat. Is anything good about its consumption? Yes. It is much healthier in smaller quantities and in less frequency than we usually consume it. And always grass fed or wild animals are just much better. Grass fed is very often organic as well and it just decreases the toxic exposure to hormones and the antibiotics significantly and most importantly here, the added Omega-6 fatty acids found in unnaturally high amounts in grain-fed livestock because it is an additive to the grain fed to livestock.

Healthful, non-animal fats are oils; nut oils, sesame and most popular, olive oil. These are for sautéing which means lower cooking temperatures and coconut and avocado oils for higher and frying temperatures. Vegetable oils which we see most often in commercial foods, soy, corn, canola and even cottonseed oil and other blended vegetable oils are often chemically and/or mechanically hydrogenated to yield a partially hydrogenated oil – hydrogen has been added usually under pressure to incorporate extra hydrogen bonds into the molecules of these oils in an attempt to make them more stable and thus preserving flavor. This produces poly (more than one) hydrogenated (adding hydrogen) oils. This process also creates trans type fats (TF) in these oils. TF have been demonstrated to be extremely cardiovascular negative! These man made TFs’ configurations i.e., the structure of these molecules have the ability to stick to the arterial wall and clog. As well, these vegetable sources used are mostly all of GMO origin. These are the same Omega-6 oils added to the animal feed.

Better fat and oil consumption is in the top 4 changes everyone needs to make to truly upgrade their health

That is perhaps the main reason I share and educate on this food issue. Understand, there are other good oils like olive oil that are Omega-6s also. But don’t forget how much you pay for these at the register. To bottle these in proper dark green glass bottles with seal tight lids and grow and process olives costs! As you know. But, these and other naturally processed oils you buy and you use in your whole foods is going to be now much better.

The dilemma; healthy oils vs. profitable oils

Processed Omega-6s are used in most all restaurant and packaged foods. The extra bonds in these oils stabilize them, keep them from going rancid and prolong their shelf life so that they can be bought and stored in bulk.

Examples of foods high in these hydrogenated oils are: French fries, chips, tortillas (chips), take out foods, canned soups, salad and most all other dressings, frozen entrees, processed cheese, commercial bread. I know, it’s everywhere!

Omega-6s are functionally needed by our bodies at a 2/1 ratio : Omega-6s/Omega-3s. But as you are able to see we are very far from this ratio because so many of us eat so much of the above noted foods. We are, on average, now at a 10 – 20/1 ratio. The consequences of eating these oils puts us at risk for an increase in metabolic disease; greater fat, pre diabetes (or type II), accelerated arthritis and higher blood pressure (BP).

here do the Omega-9s fit in to this situation?

“I bought a supplement that had Omegas 3, 6 & 9 and I thought I was doing a good thing by getting all 3, Doc.?”

The answer is; we don’t have to worry about Omega-9s as the body produces them. They are present in most all the oils. And if you are trying to eat better whole, and unprocessed foods especially in the way of the addition of seeds and nuts you will be very adequate in Omega-9s.

What foods can I eat that provide significant omega-3s? Of course, eating more fish. – This goes along way because you can get a whole day’s requirement and then some; 900 – 1300 mgs. of Omega-3s in one serving depending on which fish you choose and serving size. They provide a “whole food” serving of Omega-3s. We could, in general, chose fish much more instead of meat. Doing this on a consistent 3-4x/days per week could create an impact on particularly overall inflammation the root of so many diseases and joint function.

Sardines are a lunch favorite in my house with tart lettuce like Arugula and lemon dressing with organic crostini’s. How about salmon burgers? Do them up with a side of Basmati, parslied rice and green beans.

Other, non-animal sources are nuts and seeds such as chestnuts, cashews, sunflower or pumpkin seeds for snacking are consistently ideal. This is another factor that could contribute to a better Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio.

Holistic and traditional medical approaches alike and across the board contend Omega-3s are a must supplement. They have proven cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. This came to be understood as they became more absent from the diet in the last 40 years as our food consumption has changed.

So, what can we do to increase Omega-3s and balance my Omega-3/6 intake?

  • Decrease consumption of processed foods.
  • Switching and using more untraditional oils high in Omega-3s; flaxseed and nut oils like walnut.
  • Increase your weekly fish intake.
  • Decrease red meat and especially non grass-fed.
  • Always take an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

Glycemic Index: A Closer Look

You’ve probably heard the term “Glycemic Index Factor” popularized by the book, The New Glucose Revolution – Life Plan by Jennie Brand-Miller, PhD. This is not another shift your body’s chemistry and presto the pounds fall off diet like, for instance, the “Grapefruit Diet” which allows you to predominately eat one type of food – yes, grapefruit and theoretically you can lose weight. Obviously it is difficult to stick to and it is not very nutritionally balanced. This book describes more than just a weight loss plan it outlines a life plan to help in the management of chronic, degenerative diseases.

This book was a valuable resource for me to suggest to my patients to read to gain some insight into my clinical approach.

We’ve all heard the term Glycemic Index Factor (GIF) but what is it really and what are its clinical applications for managing chronic, degenerative diseases?

As the term GIF does not contain the word diet, it is not a diet. It is a way to measure foods’ carbohydrate content. Any food that contains carbohydrates has to some degree, a physiologic effect on blood sugar levels, BG, insulin and ultimately fat storage. Understanding and using the GIF can help us decrease our sugar intake with knowledgeable choices which leads to better BG numbers and overall body composition. Overall, better body composition; less fat and improved lean tissue contributes greatly to better metabolic numbers. – Some of those important numbers impacted are cholesterol, triglycerides, LDLs and HDLs, insulin and HbA1c.

We can design a food intake regime that creates lower, steadier, blood glucose levels throughout the day. From a clinical standpoint we know this is useful in managing DMII (diabetes type 2) and all metabolic diseases in general; insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, GI disorders, migraines, joint pain and general inflammation can benefit from better, lower levels.

There also can be weight loss.

The GIF was originally developed in 1981 by diabetes researchers to study blood sugar levels and potential ways to control these levels. Researchers wanted to measure the ability that they knew different foods had to raise blood sugar levels which is referred to as a “glycemic response”. The higher the response or rise in blood sugar levels that a food elicits the greater insulin response occurs from the pancreas. All foods were categorized based on their ability to raise insulin levels into high, moderate and low GIF response categories.

All foods are based on or compared to pure table sugar (glucose). This has the highest, single index of (100). Let’s compare similar low, moderate and high index food values. Higher value foods are definitely to be eaten in smaller amounts due to their ability to quickly raise blood sugar levels and their generally higher calorie values. High GIF values foods are typically above an index of 70 like; parsnips (97), red baked potatoes (93), dates (97), Cheerios (106), cornflakes (119), pretzels (116), waffles (109).

Now, how can so many foods have index values above 100, pure sugar? These very processed foods notably cereals that are so refined they almost “melt” into your mouth and into your blood for that matter without much digestion process needed. The GI has brought these starches more to the fore front and the wallop that it packs on the glycemic response. As pointed out, the digestion of starches is rapid because it starts in the mouth via the enzyme, amylase as opposed to most other foods which start their digestion primarily in the stomach. This double whammy; starches being very processed and allowing its very fast break down and digestion will exceed an index of 100.

Though many of the cereal items appear to be a grain product they have been so mechanized that they are now the consistency of pure starches which are equivalent or above that of sugar in their GIF classification as they are so refined. And, more importantly in the rapid and intense impact they have on BG as we see. When eating these starches that are also almost always combined with sugars – the blood sugar levels then become quickly high and the response is great,100 plus. And these high responses, “spikes” are what precipitates the following effect of BG lows, “crashes” as seen with hypoglycemia.

Other foods similar to these are; white bread, crackers and chips. All of these are highly processed, come in a box and are very far from a whole food.

Unprocessed, whole foods contain more fiber and protein and provoke a lower GIF response – the digestion has to “work” a bit more and the specific enzymes need adequate time to work – that is what it was designed to do and makes for a healthier Gastro intestinal environment and also slows the digestion of any of the carbohydrates in the foods or meal as well.

Moderate value foods are typically between 50-70.Some of these are; sweet corn (56), yams (54), pineapple (66), Special-K (54). I picked these foods to compare because of the similar foods that we compared in the high index category. The difference from the higher category in their glycemic response is largely due to the lowered starch and sugar content and higher fiber content of these moderate foods.

These are some of the lower ranked foods and are below 50, some may be surprising; black beans (43), chickpeas (47), apples (54), grapefruit (36) and rice bran (27). The beans, peas, fruits and whole grains have gotten reputations as “no-no” foods with low carbohydrate diets but they are “slow burning” healthful, carbohydrates. Their glycemic responses are very low due to their very high fiber makeup and protein contents as in the case of especially the beans. When eaten in the right amounts, over time, can create a healthful decrease in weight with better body composition. You can also put almost every green leafy vegetable in this low category.

We just can’t get around it — we’re just going to have to start eating better.

Lower rises in blood sugar elicits a lower rise in insulin which allows less fat storage and sugar highs and the sugar crashes. This is what we want! Also spikes in insulin create hunger pangs and make us want to eat more – it’s a bad cycle. We want to keep these to a minimum especially when we’re restricting our food intake. So, higher protein and fiber foods creates a slower energy/calorie burn that keeps us going on a steadier basis with more normal BG levels and weight loss will follow.

We know that increased adipose tissue (fat) creates a cascade for Metabolic Syndrome and longevity. But diets don’t work – We need to educate on how to completely adopt healthful eating practices. The Glycemic Index when followed can foster a sound guide to intake. It is the basis of most current weight loss diet plans today.