9 Steps to Perfect Health - #2: Nourish Your Body | Chris Kresser

9 Steps to Perfect Health – #2: Nourish Your Body

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This content is part of an article series.

Check out the series here


In step #1, we talked about what not to eat. In this article, we’ll talk about what to eat.

Most of the calories we get from food come from protein, carbohydrates and fat. These are referred to as macronutrients. We also get other important nutrients from food, such as vitamins and minerals. These don’t constitute a significant source of calories, so they’re called micronutrients.

For the last 50 years, we’ve been told to follow a diet low in this or that macronutrient. From the 1950s up until the present day the American Heart Association and other similarly misguided and pharmaceutically-financed “consumer organizations” have advocated a low-fat diet. More recently, low-carbohydrate diets are all the rage.

Not all macronutrients are created equal

The problem with these approaches is that they ignore the fact that not all macronutrients are created equal. There’s a tremendous variation in how different fats and carbohydrates affect the body, and thus in their suitability for human consumption. Grouping them all together in a single category is shortsighted – to say the least.

What many advocates of low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets conveniently ignore is that there are entire groups of people around the world, both past and present, that defy their ideas of what constitutes a healthy diet.

For example, the low-fat crowd will tell you that eating too much fat – especially of the saturated variety – will make you fat and give you a heart attack. Tell that to the traditional Inuit, who get about 90% of calories from fat, and were almost entirely free of obesity and modern degenerative disease. The same is true for the Masai tribe in Africa, who get about 60-70% of calories from fat (almost entirely from meat, milk or blood.) And then there’s the modern French, who have the lowest rate of heart disease of any industrialized country in the world – despite the highest intake of saturated fat.

The low-carb crowd is very much aware of these statistics, which are often used in defense of low-carb diets as the best choice. Tell that to the Kitavans in Melanesia, who get about 70% of calories from carbohydrate and, like the Inuit and Masai, are almost entirely free of obesity, heart disease and other chronic, degenerative diseases that are so common in industrialized societies. We see a similar absence of modern diseases in the Kuna indians in Panama and the Okinawans of Japan, two other healthy indigenous populations that get about 65% of calories from carbohydrate.

These rather inconvenient exceptions to the low-fat and low-carb dogma vigorously promoted by advocates of both approaches show us that humans can in fact thrive on a wide range of macronutrient ratios, ranging from extremely high fat (Inuit, Masai) to very high carb (Kitavans, Kuna & Okinawans). They also hint at the idea that perhaps not all carbohydrates are the same in terms of their effects on human health.

Human fuel: food that nourishes the body

We need to shift away from the idea of macronutrients – as Dr. Kurt Harris of PaleoNu recently suggested – and move towards the idea of nourishment or fuel and understand things like bone broth health benefits.

This means we classify foods not based on their macronutrient ratios, but on their ability to provide the energy and nutrition the body needs to function optimally.

Gasoline and diesel are both fuel that cars can run on. If you put gasoline in a diesel engine, or vice versa, the engine may run but it won’t run well – or for very long. In a similar way, the human body can run on the entire range of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. But it runs much better on the ones it was designed to run on, and if you put too much of the others in, the body will eventually break down.

With this classification in mind, let’s look primarily at how the different types of fat and carbohydrate (our primary sources of energy) affect us, and which of them we should choose as our preferred “human fuel”.

Know your fats

LONG-CHAIN SATURATED FAT
We’ll begin with long-chain, saturated fats (LCSFA): myristic, palmitic and stearic acid. These fats are found mostly in the milk and meat of ruminant animals like cattle and sheep. They form the core structural fats in the body, comprising 75-80% of fatty acids in most cells, and they’re the primary storage form of energy for humans. In other words, when the body stores excess energy from food for later use, it stores it primarily as long-chain saturated fat.

Unlike polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and carbohydrates like glucose and fructose, saturated fats have no known toxicity – even at very high doses – presuming insulin levels are in a normal range. Long-chain saturated fats are more easily burned as energy than PUFA. The process of converting saturated fat into energy the body can use leaves no toxic byproducts. In fact, it leaves nothing but carbon dioxide and water.

This means that, assuming you are metabolically healthy, you can eat as much saturated fat as you’d like without adverse consequences.

I’m sure this will come as a surprise to many of you, since we’ve been collectively brainwashed for 50 years to believe that saturated fat makes us fat and causes heart disease. If you still believe this is true, watch these two videos (1 and 2) and read all of the articles in my special report on cholesterol, fat and heart disease.

Verdict: eat as much as you’d like. The majority of the fats you consume should be LCSFA.

MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are another type of saturated fat. They’re found in coconut and in mother’s milk, and they have unusual properties. They’re metabolized differently than long-chain saturated fats; they don’t require bile acids for digestion and they pass directly to the liver via the portal vein. This makes MCTs a great source of easily digestible energy. They’re so easy to digest, in fact, that they’re used in the liquid hospital formulas fed to patients that have had sections of their intestine removed and aren’t able to digest solid food.

In addition to being a good energy source, MCTs have therapeutic properties. They’re high in lauric acid, a fat found in mother’s milk that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antioxidant properties.

Verdict: eat as much as you’d like. Coconut oil is an especially good cooking fat, because it is not vulnerable to the oxidative damage that occurs with high-heat cooking using other fats.

MONOUNSATURATED FAT
Monounsaturated fat (MFA), or oleic acid, is found primarily in beef, olive oil, avocados, lard and certain nuts like macadamias. Like saturated fats, MFA form the core structural fats of the body and are non-toxic even at high doses. Interestingly, monounsaturated fats seem to be the only fats that typically fat-phobic groups like the AHA and fat-friendly groups like Atkins and other low-carbers can agree are completely healthy.

Verdict: eat as much as you’d like. But be aware that certain foods that are high in monounsaturated fats, like nuts and avocados, can contain significant amounts of the dreaded omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, which we’ll discuss below. Exercise caution.

These three fats – long-chain saturated, medium chain triglycerides and monounsaturated – should form the bulk of your fat intake.

In addition to their lack of toxicity, eating these fats will:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease by raising your HDL, lowering your triglycerides and reducing levels of small, dense LDL (a type of LDL associated with a higher risk of heart disease). If you don’t believe me, read this.
  • Increase muscle mass. Muscle is composed of equal weights of fat and protein.
  • Stabilize your energy and mood. Fat provides a steadier supply of energy throughout the day than carbohydrate, which can cause fluctuations in blood sugar.

POLYUNSATURATED FAT: OMEGA-6 & OMEGA-3
Polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) can be subdivided into omega-6 and omega-3. PUFA are fragile and vulnerable to oxidative damage, a process that creates free radicals in the body and raises our risk for everything from heart disease to cancer. As I pointed out in Step #1: Don’t Eat Toxins, both anthropological and modern research suggest that for optimal health we should consume roughly the same amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fat (1:1 ratio), and that our total intake of PUFA should be no more than 4% of calories.

But Americans’ omega-6:omega-3 ratio today ranges from 10:1 to 20:1, with a ratio as high as 25:1 in some individuals! This means some people are eating as much as 25 times the recommended amount of omega-6 fat. And it is this excess consumption of omega-6 PUFA – not cholesterol and saturated fat – that is responsible for the modern epidemics of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease and more.

Omega-6 PUFA (linoleic acid, or LA) is found in small or moderate amounts of a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, cereal grains and meat. But it is found in very large amounts in industrial processed and refined oils, like soybean, cottonseed, corn, safflower and sunflower. These oils are ubiquitous in the modern diet, present in everything from salad dressing to chips and crackers to restaurant food. LA is also relatively high in most nuts and in all poultry, especially in dark meat with skin.

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid. This means it is required for proper function but cannot be produced in the body, and thus must be obtained from the diet. However, the amount of omega-6 that is needed is exceedingly small: less than 0.5 percent of calories when supplied by most animal fats and less than 0.12 percent of calories when supplied by liver. When consumed in excess amounts – as is almost always the case in industrialized countries like the U.S. – omega-6 contributes to all of the diseases mentioned above.

Omega-3 PUFA can be further subdivided into short-chain (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA) and long-chain (EPA & DHA). ALA is found in plant foods like walnut and flax, whereas EPA & DHA is found in seafood and to a lesser extent the meat and fat of ruminant animals.

While ALA is considered essential, the long-chain EPA & DHA are responsible for the benefits we get from eating omega-3 fats, and they form the denominator of the omega-6:omega-3 ratio. A common misconception is that we can meet our omega-3 needs by taking flax oil or eating plant foods containing ALA. It’s true that the body can convert some ALA to EPA & DHA. But that conversion is extremely inefficient in most people. On average, less than 0.5% of ALA gets converted into the long-chain EPA & DHA, and that number is even worse in people that are chronically ill or have nutrient deficiencies (common in vegans and vegetarians).

This means that it is probably EPA & DHA that are essential, in the sense that they are crucial for proper function but cannot be produced in adequate amounts in the body, and thus must be obtained from the diet.

Of the two, evidence suggests that DHA plays the more important role.

Verdict: for optimal health, eat no more than 4% of calories (about 9g/d for a 2,000 calorie diet) of polyunsaturated fat, with an equal amount of omega-6 and omega-3. Make sure the omega-3 you eat is long-chain EPA & DHA (from seafood and animal sources) rather than short-chain ALA from plant sources like flax. It is very difficult to limit omega-6 to 4.5g/day. See this article for tips.

TRANS-FATS
There are two types of trans-fats: natural (NTF), and artificial (ATF). The primary natural trans-fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is found in small amounts (about 2%) in the meat, fat and dairy fat of ruminant animals. CLA does not have the harmful effects of ATFs, and may have anti-cancer properties and other benefits.

Artificial trans-fats have been linked with a variety of diseases. I think most people are aware of this, so I’m not going to belabor the point. We’ve still got carbs to talk about.

Verdict: avoid artificial trans-fats like the plague. Natural trans-fats like CLA are harmless and probably even beneficial, but as long as you’re eating long-chain saturated fats, you’ll get CLA. You don’t have to go out of your way to find it.

SUMMARY OF FATS
Long-chain saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and medium chain triglycerides should form the bulk of your fat intake. Long-chain omega-3 fats (EPA & DHA) should be consumed regularly, while omega-6 LA should be dramatically reduced. Click on the fat pyramid below for a graphic representation.

Know your carbs

Carbohydrates are broken down into either indigestible fiber, glucose or fructose. Let’s discuss the suitability of each of these as human fuel.

Glucose
Glucose is a simple sugar (monosaccharide) found mostly in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, starchy tubers and grains. It has three main uses in the body:

  • It forms structural molecules call glycoproteins;
  • Like fat, it is a source of energy for cells (especially in the brain); and,
  • it’s a precursor to compounds that play an important role in the immune system.

Glucose preceded fatty acids as a fuel source for living organisms by a very long time, and it is the building block of foods that have the longest evolutionary history of use by mammals like us. The fact that glucose can be produced in the body from protein is often used as an argument that we don’t need to eat it in the diet. But I agree with Dr. Harris’s interpretation that, rather than viewing this as evidence that that glucose isn’t important, we should view it as evidence that glucose is so metabolically essential that we evolved a mechanism to produce it even in its absence in the diet.

One of the few differences between our digestive tract and that of a true carnivore, like a lion, is that we produce an enzyme called amylase. Amylase allows us to digest starch – a long-chain polymer of glucose molecules we can’t absorb – into single molecules of glucose that easily pass through the gut wall into the bloodstream.

Presuming we are metabolically healthy, the glucose and starch we eat is digested and rapidly cleared by the liver and muscle cells. It is only when the metabolism is damaged – usually by years of eating toxins like refined cereal grains, industrial seed oils and fructose – that excess glucose is not properly cleared and leads to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Verdict: the range of glucose that is tolerated varies widely across populations and individuals. Assuming no metabolic problems and an active lifestyle, glucose may be consumed relatively freely. However, many people today do have some form of metabolic dysfunction, and live a sedentary lifestyle. If you fall into this category, glucose should probably be limited to 400 calories (about 100g) of glucose per day.

Fructose
Fructose is another simple sugar found primarily in fruits and vegetables. While it has the same chemical formula and caloric content as glucose, it has an entirely different effect on the body.

As I pointed out in Step #1: Don’t Eat Toxins, fructose is toxic at high doses. It damages proteins in a process called fructation, which disrupts metabolic function and causes inflammation and oxidative damage. To prevent this, fructose is shunted directly to the liver for conversion into glucose or innocuous fats. But this process damages the liver over time, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (which one in three Americans now suffer from) and metabolic syndrome.

Another issue is that excess fructose is not well absorbed in the gut, which in turn leads to its rapid fermentation by bacteria in the colon or abnormal overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Small-bowel bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is now believed to be the major cause of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common functional bowel disorder that is the second-leading cause of people missing work behind only the common cold.

Most people without metabolic dysfunction can handle small amounts of fructose (as found in a few servings of fruit per day) without problems. But on the scale that fructose is consumed in the U.S. – including 64 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per person each year on average – fructose wreaks havoc on the body. It should therefore be limited as a source of carbohydrate.

Verdict: 3-4 servings a day of fruit is fine for people without metabolic problems. Those with fatty liver, insulin resistance or other issues should further limit fructose intake, and everyone should avoid high-fructose corn syrup and other concentrated sources like agave syrup.

Fiber
Fiber is plant matter that is indigestible to humans. But although we can’t digest it, some of the 100 trillion bacteria that live in our gut can. In fact, up to 10% of the body’s caloric needs can be met by the conversion of glucose into short-chain fats like butyrate, propionate and acetate by intestinal bacteria. These short-chain fats are the primary energy source for intestinal cells in the colon, and butyrate in particular has been associated with several benefits. These are outlined in The Perfect Health Diet, by Paul & Shou-Ching Jaminet. Butyrate:

  • Prevents obesity.
  • Heals the intestine.
  • Improves gut barrier integrity.
  • Relieves constipation.
  • Improves cardiovascular markers.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar.

The evidence clearly suggests that vegetable fiber is beneficial. However, just as not all fats are created equal, not all fiber is created equal. Grain fiber – which the AHA and other so-called “heart healthy” organizations have been promoting for decades – is toxic for two reasons: it contains toxic proteins like gluten, and it is prone to injure the intestinal wall.

We’ve been bullied into believing that grain fiber prevents heart disease and provides numerous health benefits. But this claim has only been tested in a single clinical trial, and the results were less than spectacular. The Diet and Reinfarction Trial, published in 1989, included 2,033 British men who had suffered a heart attack, and compared a high-fiber group with a control group. The high-fiber group ate whole grains and doubled their grain fiber intake from 9 to 17 grams per day.

How did that work out for them? Not too well. Deaths in the high fiber group were 22% higher over the two year study. 9.9% of the control group died vs. 12.1% of the high fiber group.

There are other reasons to limit all types of fiber.

Fiber isn’t essential. Human breast milk doesn’t have any, and traditional people like the Masai – who are free of modern, degenerative disease – eat almost no fiber at all (subsisting on a diet of meat, blood and milk).

And while fiber can feed the good bacteria in our gut and increase the production of beneficial short-chain fats like butyrate, it can also feed pathogenic and opportunistic bacteria in the gut.

Verdict: vegetable (but not grain) fiber is beneficial in moderate amounts – about one-half pound of vegetables per day. But think about vegetables and fiber as accompaniments or flavorful condiments to fat and protein, which should form the bulk of calories consumed, rather than the other way around.

SUMMARY OF CARBOHYDRATES
Assuming a healthy metabolism (which isn’t necessarily a safe assumption these days), glucose and starch can be eaten relatively freely, which fructose should be limited to 2-3 servings of fruit per day. Vegetable fiber is beneficial but should also be limited, to about one-half pound of vegetables per day. See the carb pyramid below for a graphic representation.

Pyramid containing carbs we should eat

Know your protein

What about protein? As it turns out, eating the right type of protein is easy if you simply follow Step #1 (don’t eat toxins) and base your diet on the healthy fats I listed above.

Protein is mostly found in animal products, seafood, nuts, legumes and grains. Legumes and grains have toxic compounds that can damage the gut. These toxins can be partially and in some cases completely neutralized by traditional preparation methods like soaking, sprouting and fermenting. But the vast majority of people in modern industrial societies don’t do this and aren’t willing to do it, so I generally recommend that people avoid them altogether.

As I explained above, nuts are often high in omega-6 LA, which we get far too much of as it is. So nuts should not constitute a significant source of protein. Walnuts are especially high. Just 100g of walnuts a day amounts to a whopping 266g of omega-6 per week. Keeping in mind that we want a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, you’d have to eat 34 pounds of salmon a week to achieve a balance. Good luck with that.

Poultry, especially dark meat with the skin on, can also be very high in omega-6 and should also be limited. For example, chicken skin has about 14 times more omega-6 than even grain-finished beef, and 10 times more than grain-finished pork.

That leaves the meat and milk (including butter, cream and cheese) of ruminant animals (beef & lamb), pork, and seafood as the most suitable sources of protein.

Animal protein is easy to absorb, is not toxic and is rich in beneficial long-chain saturated fats and natural trans-fats like CLA. Seafood is similarly easy to absorb, and is the primary dietary source of long-chain omega-3 fats DHA & EPA, as well as micronutrients like vitamin D and selenium.

We don’t need a pyramid for protein; you can simply follow the fat pyramid and you’ll naturally get the right type and amount of protein.

145 Comments

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  1. Chris, firstly, I’d like to say thanks for the incredible patience you exhibit. You’re one of the most well informed and fair minded educators I have come across, and believe me when I tell you I did a lot of research and read many books, and experimented on myself with many different dietary guidelines before I stumbled upon what I now consider to be the truth, about a year and a half ago. For that I consider myself to be very lucky, as it has completely changed my life in regard to both my physical and mental well being.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer the genuine questions relating to a myriad of possible causes and symptoms that can baffle so many people and create a lifetime of suffering, no matter how many mainstream doctors and specialists one sees, or diet books one reads.

    I was going to make a comment about the people who’s questions just waste our time and lead to unnecessary confusion, however I decided to just let it go.

    Thanks again.

  2. Thank you Chris for the ‘detail’ you provide in this article on what to eat. I have been told by a dermatoligist that the ridges and splitting of my nails is a result of aging. Two weeks ago I met a young 22 year old girl whose nails were worse than mine and I’m 40 years her senior. I think that the impact of age is possible, but more so I think this problem could be a result of the inability of our body to process the nutrients we need to keep our nails healthy. Do you have any insight to share regarding this condition?

  3. Thank you for all of the great information, Chris. I am a recent follower (6 months or so), and am on week 3 of the Personal Paleo code. So far, (mostly) really good.

    I went to acupuncture school in California. Diet recommendations based on constitutional tendencies and (Traditional Chinese Medicine) TCM patterns were a big focus of my studies and a current passion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the paleo diet as it relates to some common patterns. For example, do you think that a spleen deficient/phlegm-damp person is less likely to tolerate dairy? Might a yin-deficient person want to seek out extra liver?

    I have sent several of my patients to your site, and look forward to learning more.

    Thanks again,

    Molly
    http://www.MBSAcupuncture.com
    Bethesda, Maryland

    • Great article Chris . I always look forward to your articles and podcasts as I always do to Paul Jaminet´s realeasings. One question I get around after reading this article is if that you agree with Jaminet´s allowance for protein in a “safe range” with an 150 gr upper limit after which toxicity is reached. I hesitate if you agree or not with that limit. Thank you very much . Great work!

  4. This does not go along with what Dr. Wahls (below) found as food that protects the brain which, as you pointed out, is the most important thing to do to prevent the worst aspects of aging. She found that eating dark leafy greens as well as berries kept the neurons myelinated. She also remarked that casein in milk products causes many problems for many people. I myself have an allergy to dairy, more severe with a glass of milk versus cheese or butter. Perhaps this is a matter of “raw milk” versus pasteurized/industrial milk?
    Anyway I would be interested to see your reply especially about the importance of eating 9 cups a day of leafy greens with some berries included.
    Here is her TED talk:

  5. Again, a hint from you that vegans and vegetarians are all nutrient deficient with no evidence of that and no comparison to how many many many more people who eat animals are nutrient deficient, in many more nutrients. You lose so much credibility with stuff like that.

      • Very selective evidence. You chose one nutrient and one group of people, left out comparisons with all other dietary groups, to make it look like vegans are unhealthy, whenin reality, a well rounded presentation of the evidence would show that even if SOME vegans sometimes have low b12 levels, the amount of health problems and multiple nutrient deficiencies in MOST animal eaters far outweighs that. But that wouldn’t fit your thesis.

        • It doesn’t fit because it’s a nonsensical statement. “Animal eaters”? What the heck does that mean? People who follow a Paleo diet have virtually no chance of nutrient deficiencies. Meat, organ meat (especially liver), egg yolks, fish, shellfish, vegetables and fruits and nuts and seeds are the most nutrient-dense foods available. You can’t compare that to someone on a standard American diet eating processed and refined food and McDonald’s. That’s an absurd generalization. However, what all vegans do share in common is that they’re not getting any true B12 in their diet. That is why research consistently shows they are deficient in B12 unless they supplement.

          You’d be more likely to find a community of people that share your views elsewhere. If you’re here to try to convince us that eating meat is unhealthy, and eating vegan is, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ve researched this stuff in depth for a decade.

  6. Why is fish in the top small part of the pyramid with chicken and almonds which are both high in omega 6, suggesting you should eat small amounts of fish? Then you say in the article you should eat omega 3 regularly, but omega 6 should be reduced. This seems misleading when the chart shows equal amounts of both. Seriously do you think we should be eating more things like coconut, olives and butter than fish? I would think fish could be consumed at least as much if not more than the other foods on the chart.

    • I thought that was odd as well. As much fish as possible i would think! (except the mercury containing kind, especially if pregnant)

  7. Dear Chris,
    Thanks for the great site. Whats really needed here is a section of daily meal examples for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because after reading your site I am in information overload. Giving us specific meal examples for breakfast, lunch and dinner will solve the problem.
    I hope you will add this.
    Thanks
    David

  8. If I understand this correctly, you’re saying oatmeal is bad ? I’m having a hard time believing that, since every single article on healthy diet I’ve read so far (and I read a lot) suggested oatmeal as a stable part of a healthy diet (which I have been doing for 3 years now with very positive effects). Can you please explain ?

  9. Hi Chris,

    I love this post – very informative and really resonates with me. I have two quick questions regarding cooking oils and fructose, f you can spare the time:

    1. I would love some guidance regarding best oil to use for high heat (i.e., above 450F) cooking. I am currently using using 100% mechanically (expeller) pressed naturally refined organic coconut oil for med-high heat (up to ~365F) and 100% expeller pressed naturally refined avocado oil for high heat (up to 510F). I try to avoid high heating, but sometimes it is necessary. More recently I have been reading that refined oils are not recommended, although I cannot clarify if this mainly pertains to chemically refined and maybe the expeller pressed is ok? Some say Palm oil or macadamia nut… I would love to hear your opinion on best oil to use for high heat cooking.

    2. I don’t really eat sugar or sweets or add sugar to foods, and so in my quest to become informed about healthy foods I hadn’t been paying much attention to posts about fructose, etc. However, the dangers of fructose have recently been brought to my attention, and I have begun scrutinizing the sugar content of our foods more closely. We don’t buy much processed foods (other than Clif Builder’s Bars and Syntrax Protein Powders), never anything with HFCS, and white sugar does not have a home in our pantry. We do consume maple syrup, honey, evaporated cane juice and molasses (organic, raw when possible…), as a substitute in recipes that call for white sugar (e.g., dough), put maple syrup (1 Tbsp) on our whole wheat flaxseed french toast and pancakes, when I cook spicy food I add honey or maple syrup to add some sweet, and my husband switched from putting raw sugar in his coffee to honey. I understand that the main sugar in these products is sucrose (eg., glucose and fructose). You have recommended everyone avoid high concentrated sources of fructose like agave nectar. Do you consider these sources of sucrose (honey, maple syrup) in low/moderate consumption, typically with fiber (except for my hubby in his coffee) a health risk? Would you recommend a different sweetener (e.g., brown rice syrup)? Again, I would be thrilled to hear your opinion.

    Thank you very much for sharing your expertise.

    Rae

  10. This is the clearest information I have read after many hours of intense study. Grateful thanks! My brain is befuddled still though. Is there a menu plan anywhere which would guide choices/amounts needed to eat a balanced diet please? I would be so grateful. My thyroid gland is malfunctioning [slightly too much free thyroxine and slightly too little TSH] and I would like to eat the healthiest diet possible.

    I do think it a tragedy that for all the progress seen in the last 100 years we are so confused and so limited in the choice and availability of food which is truly healthy. And I am aghast at the dawning realisation that governments must be suppressing their knowledge of unhealthy practises in the farming and food industries. It is appallingly, criminally bad management which future generations as well as ours will have to pay for with their physical, emotional and financial health, I think.

  11. Great work on the site Chris, it’s very informative and organized.

    Is it true that some protein is lost when a food is cooked? Like with baked salmon or chicken for example.

  12. You need to update your link to Dr. Harris’ article, he revised it and the url changed.

  13. Great advice. I have been on a raw paleo diet for five months and the results have been amazing. Lots raw (or very rare) meat, raw fish (tuna, salmon, and other sashimi), lots of fresh coconut, organic raw duck eggs, limited avocado, vegetables and one fruit a day! My total cholesterol and triglycerides have been cut in half. My heart rate has dropped from 85 to 60 and my blood pressure is down to 100/60. In fact during my recent stress test, the doctor was amazed and told me that I have a heart of a 28 year old (not a 48 year old). It really is interesting that a natural organic raw diet high in saturated fat, meat and fish with no salt, sugar or additives would have such an impact. I have also lost 20 lbs. and lost two inches in my waistline! Keep up the good work and advice!

    • Chris:

      One more question, what do you feel about eating raw as opposed to cooked protein, especially grass-fed beef, deep ocean fish and pasture raised organic duck or chicken eggs? So far, I have seen a much more dramatic affect on my overall health and blood indicators eating a very raw diet.

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