Two initially conflicting reports about high protein diets have recently appeared in the news. One study suggests that middle aged adults with a high protein diet consisting of animal protein, meat and cheese can shorten your life span. High protein diets are effective in weight loss in the short term, according to the study, but long term practice and cause serious health issues.
In the human study, those consuming high levels of plant-based protein had a threefold increase in cancer mortality but no higher rate of overall mortality. Consumers of animal protein had big increases in both. That suggests, as other research has shown, that there may be benefits from minimizing consumption of animal-based protein. “These results indicate that respondents ages 50 to 65 consuming moderate to high levels of animal protein display a major increase in the risks for overall and cancer mortality,” the researchers concluded. [SOURCE]
However, the same studies suggest people over the age of 65 can benefit from a high protein diet, most likely because older adults benefit for extra protein consumption because the body processes protein at a less optimal rate.
Then another piece of research suggests that a diet high in saturated fats like margarine (ugh) and eggs and cheese don’t necessarily contribute to heart disease, when all the while, highly processed carbohydrates and so-called “low fat” foods were a better choice.
As protein and fat bask in the glow of their recovering nutritional reputation, carbohydrates – the soft, distended belly of government eating advice – are looking decidedly peaky. Carbs are the largest bulk ingredient featured on the NHS’s visual depiction of its recommended diet,the Eat Well Plate.Zoë Harcombe, an independent nutrition expert, has pithily renamed it the Eat Badly Plate – and you can see why. After all, we feed starchy crops to animals to fatten them, so why won’t they have the same effect on us? This less favourable perception of carbohydrates is being fed by trials which show that low carb diets are more effective than low fat and low protein diets in maintaining a healthy body weight.
When fat was the nutrition establishment’s Wicker Man, the health-wrecking effects of sugar on the nation’s health sneaked in under the radar. Stick “low fat” on the label and you can sell people any old rubbish. Low fat religion spawned legions of processed foods, products withramped up levels of sugar, and equally dubious sweet substitutes, to compensate for the inevitable loss of taste when fat is removed. The anti-saturated fat dogma gave manufacturers the perfect excuse to wean us off real foods that had sustained us for centuries, now portrayed as natural born killers, on to more lucrative, nutrient-light processed products, stiff with additives and cheap fillers. [SOURCE]
As most of you know, I started my low-carbohydrate, low sugar journey back in 2012. It was truly an evolution. I started with “The Flat Belly Diet,” which is akin to the Atkins plan. However, I slowly transitioned because that way of eating still allowed for wheat and processed foods. Then I read, “Wheat Belly” and began research on the paleo lifestyle and found my home. Not only does the lifestyle makes sense for me, it works. Unlike what some think, the paleo lifestyle isn’t about eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s about eating CLEAN. Unprocessed meats, grass fed beef, free range chicken, hormone-free pork. Greens, nuts, yams, sweet potatoes, fruits, no grains, rice or wheat. I gave up bread, and you know what? I DIDN’T DIE. In fact, I felt better and look better than I ever have in my adult life. Here I am at 40…
My skin at 40…no makeup…
Here was me in March 2013
Then when I went full-on paleo in July 2013
And while I won’t grace any magazine covers, I’m feeling pretty darned good about myself and my health.
While meat is often the focus of paleo, because it’s controversial, I find that the majority of my food comes from vegetables and fruits. Protein is added so that I don’t feel like I’m perpetually starving, and the clean carbs are essential for energy. When I first started this journey, I was heavy on the protein and too light on the carbs, and I was, admittedly tired. Yes I lost weight, but the day after my 1.5 hour advanced yoga class I would be sleepy and lethargic. I had to figure out the right balance of protein-carb-ratio for my body, and that’s going to be different for everyone. I started with as little as only 15 grams of sugar per day, and and now I don’t keep track of the grams, but I consume no white sugar, no rice, no legumes, no wheat. I use maple syrup, honey and Necresse to sweeten things. And as I reduced my sugar consumption, my craving for sugar and bread virtually disappeared. This was very much a journey, and this will take time.
Now I’ve taken my personal challenge even further and growing my own vegetables, and am working to get my food consumption to 50% from my urban garden. I’m growing broccoli, strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, tomatillos, spinach, carrots, blackberries, apples, cucumbers, cabbage, squash, salad greens, and onions. I’m hoping to get a bumper crop of fruits and veggies so I can them for sauces and dry them for snacks.
With paleo, I feel like I’ve truly found my home. It’s the way my ancestors ate, and if it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
I get a lot of notes about what books I read and cookbooks I use, and I’m happy to share…
If you’re ready to take the plunge into paleo, join me in the comments. I’m hear to answer your questions. I charge $1500 per hour. Just kidding.