Diabetes and heart disease are on the rise worldwide. They’re serious chronic (long-term) conditions. They have a few other things in common as well. 
For one thing, they’re both considered “lifestyle” diseases. This means that they tend to occur in people with certain lifestyles (i.e. not-so-awesome nutrition and exercise habits, etc.).
They’re also both linked with excess body fat, as well as inflammation.
While there are several links and risk factors, today we’re going to talk specifically about inflammation. Then I’ll give you some tips how to improve your nutrition and lifestyle.
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
 
Inflammation
 
Inflammation has been getting a lot of bad press lately, but it’s not always a bad thing. As in most areas of health, it’s the balance that’s important.
 
Inflammation is a natural process that our body uses to protect against infections, irritants, and damage. Inflammation helps our bodies eliminate damaged cells and tissues and helps them to repair. It also helps to reduce the cause of the damage, for example, by fighting the infection.
 
The word inflammation comes from the Latin word “inflammo,” meaning “I set alight, I ignite.”
 
Inflammation is a natural process to protect and heal our bodies. However, it can become self-perpetuating and stick around way longer than necessary. This long-term (chronic) inflammation is often associated with several health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and excess body weight. 
 
Types of inflammation - Acute vs. chronic
 
When inflammation happens in a big way, for a short time, this is known as “acute” inflammation. Signs of acute inflammation include redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function.
 
These short durations of strong inflammation can help the body to heal injuries and infections. 
 
On the other hand, when inflammation sticks around longer than necessary, it’s called “chronic” inflammation. Chronic inflammation can damage the body over time, without many signs or symptoms at all. It’s this type of inflammation linked to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and excess body fat. It’s also linked with many other conditions of the body, brain, and even mental health concerns. 
 
What inflammation does
 
Inflammation stems from the immune system’s response, and also involves our blood vessels (arteries and veins) and other molecules.
 
One of these molecules is the infamous “free radical.” These highly reactive molecules (oxidants) help to fight infectious agents, and also help cells to communicate. But, when they are in overdrive, and they aren’t counteracted with many antioxidants, they can tip the balance and cause damage to healthy cells.
 
There are several other inflammatory molecules, one of which can be measured with a blood test. This is C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is considered one of the “markers” of inflammation. This “inflammatory marker,” when found in a blood test at high levels, indicate that there is inflammation in the body. 
 
High blood levels of inflammatory markers like CRP are associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Some researchers believe that levels of inflammatory markers in the blood can actually predict whether someone is going to eventually develop diabetes or heart disease.
 
Chronic inflammation and diabetes
 
Diabetes is a complex condition of metabolism where our bodies don’t manage blood sugar levels very well. 
 
Blood sugar levels naturally go up and down throughout the day. Up after we eat; and down when we’re hungry. In a person with good blood sugar control, when blood sugar levels get high, insulin is released. This tells our cells to absorb sugar out of the blood to level it out. 
Blood sugar level is a tightly controlled system.
 
But when the control of the blood sugar levels isn’t as good, for example they stay too high for too long (i.e. because of insulin issues), this can lead to diabetes. And having diabetes can have many long-term serious health consequences like amputation, blindness, and kidney disease.
 
About 95% of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (T2DM), formerly known as “adult-onset” diabetes. This is because there are a whole host of nutrition and lifestyle habits, when done for years and decades, contribute to this diagnosis.
 
These nutrition and lifestyle habits can promote excess body fat and inflammation, and lead to an imbalance between insulin need and insulin production. 
 
Inflammation is thought to be a key factor when it comes to diabetes. It can negatively affect insulin-producing cells. It’s also one of the causes of insulin resistance. In fact, some researchers argue that virtually all of the factors that promote diabetes are linked with inflammation.
 
Chronic inflammation and heart disease
 
Heart disease is a major cause of death in countries such as Australia, the US, Canada, and the European Union.
 
The link between inflammation and heart disease was discovered back in 2006. The first stage of heart disease is called “atherosclerosis.” Complications of heart disease include things like heart attacks. Inflammation is a key issue linked with both atherosclerosis and heart attacks. 
 
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) starts when there are too many “free radicals” inside the blood vessels. This can be from high blood sugar, high levels of oxidized fats in the blood (from too many free radicals), low levels of homocysteine (an anti-inflammatory molecule), etc.. These lead to damage of the inside surfaces of the blood vessels allowing buildup of plaque (including immune system cells) which increases chronic inflammation. This plaque narrows the inside of the blood vessels, and can lead to complications like heart attacks. And after a heart attack, inflammation increases to even higher levels. 
 
Research is underway specifically targeting inflammation to try to reduce heart and blood vessel injury, reduce the worsening of heart disease, and to promote healing. 
 
Inflammation - Excess body fat
 
Excess body fat is linked with both diabetes and heart disease. And in 2003, researchers found that it’s also linked with inflammation.
 
Body fat itself can promote activation of immune cells. The fat tissue can even produce its own inflammatory markers. This is particularly true for internal fat around the belly, liver, and heart. 
Excess body fat also increases the body’s need for insulin, and negatively affects insulin-producing cells. 
 
Excess body fat is also linked with the same nutrition and lifestyle factors as diabetes and heart disease. 

Losing weight (i.e. excess body fat) reduces inflammation in belly fat as well as the rest of the body, and can also reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
 
Nutrition and lifestyle upgrades
 
There is a lot of evidence that improving nutrition and lifestyle can help many factors associated with chronic diseases, including reducing inflammation. 
 
In fact, according to the NIH:
 
“People with insulin resistance and prediabetes can decrease their risk for diabetes by eating a healthy diet and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, not smoking, and taking medication.”
 
“The main treatment for atherosclerosis is lifestyle changes.”
 
Here are several ways you can upgrade your nutrition and lifestyle.
 
Anti-inflammatory diet
 
A nutritious diet promotes health, reduces risk of many chronic diseases, and can reduce inflammation. 
 
Some areas that are being researched now are anti-inflammatory diets and foods. 
 
One diet has a lot of science supporting its health promoting, emotional well-being improving, and life extending properties. This is the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of vegetables, fruits, and legumes; some fish, whole grains, tree nuts, and dairy; and small amounts of olive oil, tea, cocoa, red wine, herbs, and spices. It also has low levels of red meat and salt, and a low glycemic index (it doesn’t raise blood sugar very high).
 
The Mediterranean diet can lower risk of diabetes and adverse effects of obesity, even without weight loss. One of the reasons why is thought to be because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
 
Foods common in the Mediterranean diet contain substances that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Substances like polyphenols, flavonoids, pigments, unsaturated fats (including omega-3s), and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and selenium. These foods may also help to improve insulin sensitivity, quality of blood lipids, and the gut microbiota. 
 
FUN FACT: Most people get the highest amount of dietary polyphenols from coffee and/or tea (but I don’t recommend a lot of cream and sugar).
 
Many anti-inflammatory effects of these foods have been demonstrated in a lab or in animals. Extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts, and cocoa have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, like reducing blood levels of CRP, in people.
 
Even when we look at individual components in a food, we should keep in mind that it’s the whole diet, with all foods and lifestyle components that help to promote health. One or two individual aspects don’t have the same effect as a holistic approach to improving overall nutrition and lifestyle.
 
Inflammation - Sugar and starch
 
Excess sugars and starches put stress on our blood sugar levels and increase our risk of chronic diseases. They also promote inflammation in the body.
 
Animals who eat sweets and white bread, and drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages have higher levels of inflammatory markers like CRP. Studies in people also show that diets low in sugar and starch have lower than average levels of CRP.
 
One possible reason is that more sugar and starch may increase production of inflammatory molecules and free radicals by giving immune cells more fuel and increase their activity.
 
You can upgrade your nutrition in this area by eating fewer sugars (especially “added” sugars) and starches (especially “refined” starches).
 
Inflammation - Dietary fat
 
Some lab and animal studies show that increased levels of saturated fats can increase production of inflammatory markers and free radicals. Meals with unsaturated fats seem to reduce the inflammatory response after the meal. 
 
Unsaturated fats like omega-3’s from fish seem to be particularly healthful. People who eat more fish tend to have lower levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease. 

Fish-based omega-3 unsaturated fats reduce inflammation in several ways. They reduce the source of inflammation, as well as increase the amount of anti-inflammatory molecules.
 
Tree nuts are another good source of unsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. While nuts do contain a fair amount of fat, many studies show that people who regularly eat nuts do not tend to have a higher BMI (body mass index) or more body fat. Even adding nuts to the diet doesn’t seem to promote weight gain compared to the amount of calories they contain. And that is if there even is any weight gain at all, because many studies show no weight gain after adding nuts to the diet. 
 
Why don’t fat-containing nuts promote weight gain? Several studies show an increase in the resting metabolic rate in people who eat nuts - they seem to burn more calories even when they’re not active. This may be because of the type of fat (unsaturated), protein, fibre and/or the polyphenol content in the nuts.
 
You can upgrade your dietary fats by eating more fish and nuts. Fish and nuts contain unsaturated fats that have anti-inflammatory effects. They can also improve insulin sensitivity and even improve the health of insulin-producing cells.
 
When it comes to fish oil supplements, many studies show reduction in risk factors for heart disease by improving the way our bodies metabolize fats and its ability to “thin” the blood. However, fish oil supplements have mixed reviews when it comes to reducing inflammation. They can be helpful for some, but I recommend eating the fish itself.
 
Inflammation - Dietary fibre
 
People who eat more fibre tend to have lower risks of diabetes and heart disease. There are a few ways this is thought to work, one is from reduced inflammation. This is because people who eat more fibre, fruits, and vegetables tend to have lower levels of CRP.
 
In fact, animal studies show that eating fibre reduces the levels of inflammatory markers and also reduces excess body fat.
 
This effect can be because fibre slows down absorption of food from the body, reducing blood sugar spikes. It can also be because of its interaction with the friendly microbes in our gut.
 
Foods that are high in fibre include whole grains, legumes (i.e. beans and lentils), cocoa, seeds (e.g. sesame), tree nuts (e.g. almonds), avocados, raspberries, and squash.
 
Inflammation - Exercise
 
Regular exercise helps with many chronic diseases, as well as helping to reduce inflammation.
 
Levels of inflammatory markers are lower in people who exercise regularly, than those who do not. Plus, the people who exercise at a higher intensity tend to have even lower levels of CRP.
 
In fact, adding regular moderate exercise to a nutritious anti-inflammatory diet has benefits beyond the dietary benefits, like even lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (i.e. like CRP).
 
I encourage you to reduce the amount of time you are sedentary, and take active breaks.
 
Inflammation - Sleep
 
Both acute and chronic sleep deprivation cause an increase in inflammatory markers in the blood. 
 
In fact, sleep loss is a risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes. When healthy volunteers have restricted sleep, this causes decreased insulin sensitivity. 
 
Upgrade your sleep by making it more of a priority.
 
Conclusion
 
Diabetes and heart disease are serious conditions. They have a few things in common, namely excess body fat and increased levels of inflammation. Inflammation can be healthy if its fighting an infection or healing a wound, but chronic inflammation is associated with many serious conditions.
 
There are a lot of nutrition and lifestyle issues that can contribute to chronic diseases. There are several ways they can do this; inflammation is just one of them.
 
The good news is that there are are several nutrition and lifestyle factors you can improve. These include eating less sugars and starches, eating more fish, nuts and dietary fibre, and getting regular exercise and quality sleep.
 
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
 
References:
 
Alkhatib, A., Tsang, C., Tiss, A., Bahorun, T., Arefanian, H., Barake, R., Khadir, A. & Tuomilehto, J. (2017). Functional Foods and Lifestyle Approaches for Diabetes Prevention and Management. Nutrients. 9(12). pii: E1310. doi: 10.3390/nu9121310.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748760/
 
Bäck, M. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Future Science OA, 3(4), FSO236. http://doi.org/10.4155/fsoa-2017-0067
 
Bäck, M. & Hansson, G.K. (2015). Anti-inflammatory therapies for atherosclerosis. Nat Rev Cardiol. 12(4):199-211. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2015.5. Epub 2015 Feb 10.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25666404
 
Burke, M.F., Burke, F.M. & Soffer, D.E. (2017). Review of Cardiometabolic Effects of Prescription Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 19(12):60. doi: 10.1007/s11883-017-0700-z.
LINK:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11883-017-0700-z
 
Calder, P.C. (2015). Marine omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: Effects, mechanisms and clinical relevance. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1851(4):469-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.08.010.
 
Davison, K,M. & Temple, N.J. (2018). Cereal fiber, fruit fiber, and type 2 diabetes: Explaining the paradox. J Diabetes Complications. 32(2):240-245. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.11.002.
 
Drew, W., Wilson, D.V. & Sapey, E. (2017). Inflammation and neutrophil immunosenescence in health and disease: Targeted treatments to improve clinical outcomes in the elderly. Exp Gerontol. pii: S0531-5565(17)30841-0. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.12.020. 
 
Ellinger, S., & Stehle, P. (2016). Impact of Cocoa Consumption on Inflammation Processes—A Critical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 8(6), 321. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8060321
 
Engin, A.B., Tsatsakis, A.M., Tsoukalas, D. & Engin, A. (2017). Do flavanols-rich natural products relieve obesity-related insulin resistance? Food Chem Toxicol. pii: S0278-6915(17)30803-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.12.055.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29288757
 
Examine.com. Fish Oil Supplements. Accessed January 12, 2018.
 
Frasca, D., Blomberg, B.B. & Paganelli, R. (2017). Aging, Obesity, and Inflammatory Age-Related Diseases. Front Immunol. 8:1745. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01745. eCollection 2017.
 
Gutiérrez-Grijalva, E.P., Picos-Salas, M.A., Leyva-López, N., Criollo-Mendoza, M.S., Vazquez-Olivo, G. & Heredia, J.B. (2017). Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids from Oregano: Occurrence, Biological Activity and Health Benefits. Plants (Basel). 7(1). pii: E2. doi: 10.3390/plants7010002.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29278371
 
Haghighatdoost, F. & Nobakht, M.Gh.B.F. (2017). Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on blood inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.1038/s41430-017-0048-z. 
LINK: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29288248
 
Iop, L., Dal Sasso, E., Schirone, L., Forte, M., Peruzzi, M., Cavarretta, E., … Frati, G. (2017). The Light and Shadow of Senescence and Inflammation in Cardiovascular Pathology and Regenerative Medicine. Mediators of Inflammation, 2017, 7953486. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7953486
 
Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2017). Benefits of Nut Consumption on Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Multiple Potential Mechanisms of Actions. Nutrients, 9(11), 1271. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111271
 
Kolb, H. & Mandrup-Poulsen, T. (2010) The global diabetes epidemic as a consequence of lifestyle-induced low-grade inflammation. Diabetologia, 53:10. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-009-1573-7
 
Libby, P. (2006). Inflammation and cardiovascular disease mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr. 83(2):456S-460S.
 
Lontchi-Yimagou E1, Sobngwi E, Matsha TE, Kengne AP. (2013). Diabetes mellitus and inflammation. Curr Diab Rep. 13(3):435-44. doi: 10.1007/s11892-013-0375-y.
LINK:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11892-013-0375-y
 
National Institutes of Health. National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute. Atherosclerosis. Accessed January 10, 2018.
 
National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetes. Accessed January 10, 2018.
 
National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance. Accessed January 10, 2018.
 
Osei, K., & Gaillard, T. (2017). Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors in Blacks and Whites: Dissecting Racial Paradox of Metabolic Syndrome. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 8, 204. http://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2017.00204
 
Palomer, X., Pizarro-Delgado, J., Barroso, E. & Vázquez-Carrera, M. (2017). Palmitic and Oleic Acid: The Yin and Yang of Fatty Acids in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Trends Endocrinol Metab. pii: S1043-2760(17)30170-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2017.11.009.
 
Poreba, M., Mostowik, M., Siniarski, A., Golebiowska-Wiatrak, R., Malinowski, K. P., Haberka, M., … Gajos, G. (2017). Treatment with high-dose n-3 PUFAs has no effect on platelet function, coagulation, metabolic status or inflammation in patients with atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular Diabetology, 16, 50. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12933-017-0523-9
 
Robson, R., Kundur, A.R. & Singh, I. (2017). Oxidative stress biomarkers in type 2 diabetes mellitus for assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2017 Dec 30. pii: S1871-4021(17)30465-4. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2017.12.029. 
 
Ruparelia, N., Chai, J. T., Fisher, E. A., & Choudhury, R. P. (2017). Inflammatory processes in cardiovascular disease: a route to targeted therapies. Nature Reviews. Cardiology, 14(3), 133–144. http://doi.org/10.1038/nrcardio.2016.185
 
Suen, J., Thomas, J., Kranz, A., Vun, S., & Miller, M. (2016). Effect of Flavonoids on Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Adults at Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: A Systematic Review. Healthcare, 4(3), 69. http://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare4030069
 
US Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database. Dietary Fiber. Accessed January 9, 2018.
 
Weisberg, S.P., McCann, D., Desai, M., Rosenbaum, M., Leibel, R.L., Ferrante, A.W. Jr. (2003) Obesity is associated with macrophage accumulation in adipose tissue. J Clin Invest 112:1796–1808
 
Wikipedia. Inflammation (definition). Accessed Jan 9, 2018.
 
Xu, H., Barnes, G.T., Yang, Q., et al. (2003) Chronic inflammation in fat plays a crucial role in the development of obesity-related insulin resistance. J Clin Invest 112:1821–1830
 
Zhao, Y., Forst, C. V., Sayegh, C. E., Wang, I.-M., Yang, X., & Zhang, B. (2016). Molecular and Genetic Inflammation Networks in Major Human Diseases. Molecular bioSystems, 12(8), 2318–2341. http://doi.org/10.1039/c6mb00240d
Published in Deanna's Blog
Monday, 04 March 2019 20:31

Why You Should Try an Elimination Diet

That tiredness, bloating, skin rash or brain fog you've been experiencing could be the result of food intolerances.  These discomforts we tend to write off as normalcy can be directly related to what you're eating, and the way to know for sure if what you’re eating is causing you trouble is to try an elimination diet. 
 
To make it simple, an elimination diet consists of you avoiding certain foods for a few weeks.  After you get these foods out of your system, you'll begin reintroducing them to your diet one at a time. If you have kids, it’s much like starting them on solids and watching for any symptoms of sensitivities, but in reverse.
 
Food Sensitivity Symptoms
Intolerances aren’t always a major allergic reaction with a swollen tongue and puffy eyes.  In fact, the majority of food intolerances present themselves as common discomforts such as dry skin, itching, bloating, digestive upsets, headaches, fatigue, migraines, and achy joints and pains. You might only have one of these or a combination of them. 
 
Yes, it sounds like just about every other illness, but you might find that with an elimination diet, you’ll pinpoint the source of that mysterious bloating that isn’t during your period and actually be able to do something about it, finally!  You’ll feel more like yourself, and you’ll be aware of what foods cause inflammation for you. 
 
Of top importance is getting rid of any chronic inflammation you may be dealing with.  Over time, it can cause significant damage and lead to illness. Don’t panic if you only feel these symptoms once in a while, but if you feel like this daily, for example, fogginess when thinking, small aches, skin issues, or bloating, you should definitely try the elimination diet to see if you can get back to feeling like yourself. 
 
How to Do It
Want to get started? The elimination diet has 2 phases. The first one is about eliminating while the second one is about reintroduction. You should keep a rigorous journal to help you spot any changes, good or bad. 
 
- The Elimination Phase
During this phase, you must eliminate any foods you think are triggering symptoms for about 2 or 3 weeks. Most of these are things like dairy, citrus, corn, nuts, eggs, seafood, pork, gluten, wheat, and nightshade vegetables. Generally, you’ll notice your symptoms clear up which will mean you’re ready for the next phase. If nothing changes, you should schedule a checkup with your doctor as soon as possible. 
 
- The Reintroduction Phase
Next, you’ll slowly start bringing those eliminated foods back onto your plate. Only introduce one food group at a time over a period of 2 to 3 days. Be watching for those symptoms we mentioned. If anything you reintroduce sets off your symptoms, then you know you need to eliminate it.
 
One word of caution though: some of you may find several groups of reintroduced food to bring your symptoms back. Should that happen to you, schedule a checkup with your doctor or see a dietitian to help you get the right nutrition while avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms, so you don’t become nutritionally deficient. 
 
All you need now is the willingness to devote the time.  You will be saving yourself a lifetime of discomfort, and the time you invest is absolutely worth it.
 
 
The gut (a.k.a. digestive tract) is not just a tube that absorbs nutrients and gets rid of waste - it’s a complex alive system that’s a huge foundation of health. And not just gut health, but the overall health of our bodies and minds. We know how important it is to get all of our essential nutrients from food - and this is a big part of what our digestive tract does. But, there is way more to the story than just that.
Published in Deanna's Blog
Until recently, we didn’t know how much our gut and brain interacted. Some people thought that our brains controlled everything we did, consciously and subconsciously.
 
They were wrong!
Published in Deanna's Blog
Published in Coming Events
Tuesday, 06 February 2018 16:19

Mental health, inflammation, and mood foods

Mental health issues have a huge impact on society. Some suggest that their impact is larger than any other chronic disease, including heart disease or diabetes.
There are so many factors involved in complex conditions like mental health issues. Science is just starting to unravel one of these factors - inflammation. 
Published in Deanna's Blog
Saturday, 29 April 2017 19:14

Top Foods for Tissue Health

If you're pretty active like I am, you want to protect your tissues.  
 
Did you know that the most abundant tissue in the body, which is also extremely important for anyone who works out, is none other than “connective” tissue?
 
Connective tissue “connects” things in your body to help maintain structure.  It basically supports and anchors parts together.    
 
For example, your joints have ligaments (that attach bones to each other), as well as tendons (that attach muscles to bones).  These are examples of “dense” connective tissue made mainly of collagen.  
Published in Deanna's Blog
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:56

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
 
I remember as a child eating my cereal for breakfast and then developing a tummy ache.  This would happen every morning until I stopped drinking the milk that was added to it.  Eventually, while in college, my roommate told me I must be lactose intolerant as this was something she was learning about in her kinesiology class.  Glad to have something to go on, I proudly renounced dairy from my food choices.  I have since come to learn a lot more about food sensitivities and intolerances.  Read on.
 
There are two different kinds of food sensitivities – food allergy and food intolerance. Often times, they are confused because they are both reactions to foods that we eat and some of the symptoms can be very similar. However, it’s worth taking a moment to distinguish their differences.
 
Food Allergy and Food Sensitivities
It is an immune system response – the body thinks that the food you ingested (most likely a protein in the food) is a harmful substance and it creates antibodies to defend against it. Symptoms depend on where the antibodies and histamine are released, and they can include rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airway and even anaphylaxis. 
 
Our intestines are designed to be impermeable to large protein molecules that our body may mistake as “invaders” and launch an “attack” – resulting in allergic reactions. Our diet, lifestyle and medications often times compromise the permeability of our digestive tract, creating what is known as the “leaky gut” syndrome. When the intestine becomes permeable to larger protein molecules, these molecules can get into our bloodstream and trigger an immune response.
 
Food allergies/sensitivities can be triggered by even a very small amount of food and occurs every time the food is consumed. If you suffer from food allergy, you are most likely advised to avoid the trigger food altogether. However, if you work with a qualified professional, you may be able to resolve the root cause of the allergic reaction (e.g. leaky gut), allow time for the antibodies to clear up (usually 2 – 4 weeks), and then you may be able to ingest a small amount of the food every 3 to 4 days without triggering allergic reactions. 
 
Peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat are the most common triggers for food allergies. People who are allergic to aspirin can also be allergic to foods that contain salicylates – such as many fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, juices, beer, and wine.
 
Food Intolerance
It is a digestive system response – the digestive system is unable to properly digest some substance in the food, or the food irritates the digestive tract. Most symptoms of food intolerance are confined to the GI tract, including nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, and diarrhea, with the exception of headache and irritability or nervousness.
 
In most cases, food intolerance is caused by the lack of certain enzymes and the body becomes unable to digest certain substances in the food. 
 
Food intolerance, in most cases, is dose related. For example, some people who are lactose intolerant can use milk in their coffee, eat a moderate amount of yogurt (in which some of the lactose is pre-digested by the probiotics) or hard aged cheese (which has a lower amount of lactose).
 
The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, in which the person is unable to digest dairy products due to the inability to produce the enzyme lactase. However, food intolerance can also be caused by chemicals such as food colorings and additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sulfites.
 
If you think you might have a food sensitivity or intolerance, I can guide you through an elimination diet, or implement gut healing protocols.  Also, Food Sensitivity Screening is available at my office via Electro Dermal Screening.  Book your session now and eliminate those tummy troubles.  
 
Deanna Trask RHN
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-270-1889
 
Reference: 
 
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance
Thursday, 06 October 2016 21:25

Fitness and Fat Loss Mistakes

Are you Making These Fitness and Fat Loss Mistakes?

Have you been doing cardio 3-4 times per week but haven’t been able to lose weight?
What you are about to read might strike you as controversial. All that moderate to intense steady state cardio you’ve been doing on cardio machines for 30-45 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week is doing more harm to your body than good. This type of cardio is not going to help you in your weight loss effort and if you are already stressed out (who isn’t?) it may even be causing negative effects to your health.

Before you get upset and start sending the hate email it is important for you to understand why.
In order for you to understand there are a few terms that require an explanation first:

Subcutaneous Fat:
Subcutaneous fat lies right below the outermost layer of the skin. It’s the fat you can pinch with your fingers and is tested with calipers.

Visceral Fat:
Visceral fat is also known as organ fat because it lies between the organs. In other words, visceral fat is located between the organs and contributes to belly fat.
Visceral fat negatively affects health by increasing inflammation (the silent killer) in the organs in part because it releases substances called adipokines which are cell to cell signaling proteins that increase blood pressure and mess with insulin regulation.
Visceral fat is also responsible for decreasing the amount of adiponectin within the body. Adiponectin is an essential fat burning hormone and when this hormone is decreased it means that there are more triglycerides ( the type of fat found in blood) getting into the blood stream.
The worst part about visceral fat is that it can degrade muscle leading to more fat.

Oxidative Stress:
Oxidative stress occurs when we release too many free radicals than can be neutralized by antioxidants. Normally, the body can handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age. Free radicals are responsible for inflammation and cellular death.

So now that we got that out of the way let me explain why moderate to vigorous steady state cardio may not be the best choice when it comes to aerobic exercise.

Aerobic Training Raises Cortisol Levels.
In this day and age, it seems most of us will have chronically elevated levels of cortisol. This means that your body will store fat instead of burning it. The gain in fat will be visceral fat which increases fat accumulation and inflammation in the body.
Since aerobic exercise is known to increase inflammation in the body and when combined with the bad oxidative substances that are elevated by visceral fat it doesn’t make for a health enhancing combo.
It’s well known that exercise raises cortisol because exercise stresses the body, which in the case of strength training is a good thing because it stresses the body to grow or adapt and get stronger. In contrast, aerobic training stresses the body without boosting the anabolic hormones, resulting in an overall inflammation-causing situation.

Chronic Aerobic Exercise Can Raise Inflammation Within the Body
Chronic inflammation is a major health issue that ages tissues and has even been called the “secret killer!” It is connected to fat gain, heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes, asthma, arthritis, cancer, poor reproductive health, and stomach problems. It’s different from acute inflammation following training or injury, which has a protective effect on the body by localizing blood to the damaged tissue and immobilizing you.
Chronic inflammation occurs when the cells are being repeatedly attacked by oxidative free radicals, elevated insulin, or high cortisol, to name a few. That’s why aerobic training causes chronic inflammation—your body produces free radicals in response to the oxygen-rich environment created by increased respiration that goes with aerobic training, and your cortisol is raised from repeated physiological stress.
It’s well established that aerobic exercises cause oxidative stress—a review article in the Journal of Sports Science provides a useful summary of how strenuous aerobic exercise induces oxidative stress that can overwhelm antioxidant defenses.
There’s widespread and accepted evidence of chronic inflammation from aerobic exercise as seen from the increase in free radicals, damage to lipids and DNA , and decreased blood measurements of antioxidants such as glutathione.

Long-Term Aerobic Exercise Compromises Immune System
Long-term aerobic exercise compromises the immune system. There is ample evidence that aerobic training leads to immune suppression, putting aerobic endurance athletes at greater risk for infection, particularly upper respiratory illness. The worst kind of aerobic exercise that leads to the most pronounced immune dysfunction is when the exercise is continuous, long (about 90 minutes a session), and of moderate to high intensity (60-80 percent of maximal oxygen uptake). Overreaching or intensified aerobic training leads to greater risk of illness and puts athletes at risk of longer lasting effects because overreaching also modifies hormone function among other things.

The Best Workout to Achieve Your Goal Weight
The very best protocol for visceral fat loss and a lean physique is high-intensity interval sprints and a resistance training program. This will allow you to burn visceral fat and build muscle. More muscle will elevate metabolism and support a better hormonal and biochemical environment by lowering adipokines—remember that evil chemical that creates more fat and breaks down muscle.

A dual program that combines HIIT, or at least strenuous aerobic training in conjunction with resistance training, is clearly essential for health. You’ll be getting rid of the unhealthy fat and building up an arsenal of muscle to protect against future fat attacks.

Top Three Thing You Can Do Instead of Aerobic Exercise

  • Strength Train
    You’ll build muscle, burn fat (it triggers growth hormone, which increases fat burning), lower cortisol and inflammation, and look better.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
    You’ll burn fat—visceral belly and subcutaneous fat—and gain conditioning.
  • Take a Probiotic and Eat High Antioxidant Foods
    You’ll help your body detoxify from diet and environmental pollutants (they cause inflammation), and lower cortisol from daily stressors.

Information from this article was taken from www.charlespoliquin.com To read more about how to combat the negative effects of aerobic training visit Charles Poliquin’s research based blog.

Why not book a free 30-minute consult to learn more about my one one one weight loss programs.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Weight Loss

 

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is an immune system response. Inflammation is the body's first response to an injury or disease. It tells you in no uncertain terms "Houston, we have a problem." Inflammation informs you that you need to pay attention to an injured or diseased area so that you don't continue to use it and worsen the problem.

Published in Deanna's Blog