The Roundup - Edition 34

The Roundup


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Here is The Roundup, Edition 34, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!

Blast from the Past

Carbohydrates have been a contentious topic in the Paleo community, with some recommending a complete avoidance of carbohydrates while others (like myself) recommend a more moderate carbohydrate approach for the general population. But as we know, there is no one-size-fits-all diet, so while a low carb approach can work incredibly for one person, another person may crash and burn on a low carb diet.

This new review summarizes the health-related positives and negatives associated with carbohydrate restriction. The authors explain how a low carb diet can affect blood lipids by lowering triglycerides and raising HDL, decrease hypertension, and promote weight loss. However, low carb diets also tend to be low in phytochemicals and nondigestible carbohydrates (e.g. soluble and insoluble fiber) which can increase the risk for both cancer and digestive disorders.

Ultimately, the authors recommend a moderately carbohydrate restricted diet composed of 26%-44% of calories from carbohydrate, which is lower than what the average American eats (50-60%) but significantly higher than low-carb Paleo gurus recommend.

Personally, I think moderate amounts of whole food carbohydrates can be well tolerated by the majority of the population, even those who need to lose weight. I’ve written before about the “safe starch” controversy, and my position is that the amount of carbohydrates a person can eat will depend upon genetic/epigenetic factors, existing health conditions and the volume and intensity of activity – among other reasons. This review paper covers some of the many reasons why the best long-term approach may be a modest carb intake, even for those looking to improve metabolic function and lose weight.

Research Report

  • A new study suggests poor sleep increases risk of breast cancer. Yet another reason to follow the sleep recommendations I made in Your Personal Paleo Code (The Paleo Cure in paperback)!
  • Have IBD? Want to heal your gut? Make sure you manage your stress.
  • A new study suggests that mindfulness and meditation are more effective than medication for treating A.D.H.D.
  • Reward-based eating drive has been shown to predict weight gain over time.
  • Pastured dairy fat is shown to improve metabolic outcomes and strengthen the intestinal barrier compared to conventional dairy.
  • This review examines the evidence about wheat and other cereal grains and how they affect chronic inflammation, leaky gut, and autoimmune disease.

Worth a Look

  • The environment – everything from the air you breathe to the foods you eat to your daily thoughts – can either help or harm your body. Join me, Sara Gottfried, and other thought leaders, as we discuss the environmental drivers of health July 7-11.
  • As its popularity rises, will Paleo ever hit the mainstream
  • Since there’s no one-size-fits-all diet, that’s why we need the freedom to choose our own diet and health solutions.
  • One of my staff dietitians Kelsey Marksteiner is hosting a 14-day fermented food challenge. Here’s your chance to start eating fermented foods on a daily basis!
  • AHS is a great chance to mingle with the leading figures in the movement, learn from their talks, and get to know in person friends you’ve made online.
  • Tim Howard is a national hero from the US World Cup soccer team. He also eats Paleo.

For the Foodies

  1. I just read in the new Prevention Magazine about the latest saturated fat study out of Sweden. It states that due to results of this study, saturated fats do contribute to heart disease and that unsaturated fats from vegetable oils do not. The recommendation is to replace all saturated fats with unsaturated vegetable oils. This is in direct opposition to Chris’ stand and I was wondering if he was familiar with this new study. Seems Harvard scientists support it! Thank you.

  2. Chris, while I find much of your information balanced and helpful, I disagree strongly with your citing of animal experimentation as support for various theories as being applicable to humans.

    Yes, animals are mammals but they differ significantly from us in many ways – physically, mentally, nutritionally, etc. Their bodies/glands are designed to support their physiology, not ours.

    To say that information gained from experimental, controlled protocols in stressful settings on an animal can be extrapolated to humans is extremely misleading. It is a disservice to humans, cruel to the animals and a waste of time and money, diverting us from valid, human-based research.

    The only reason animals are used is because they are cheap, have short life expectancies, & can be completely controlled. It is an illusion that the animal is being experimented on instead of the human. We do not know how things will work in humans until they are applied in humans.

    I hope, in the future, that you will focus on more relevant human-based research.

  3. Hi Chris, I don’t disagree that stress management is likely beneficial for IBD. But in the study you linked the stress they described was ‘cell stress’ and since they mention the unfolded protein response (UPR) a few times it seems like they are referring to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, rather than psychological stress

  4. “However, low carb diets also tend to be low in phytochemicals and nondigestible carbohydrates (e.g. soluble and insoluble fiber) which can increase the risk for both cancer and digestive disorders.”

    This depends on how you interpret the LC diet. If you eat kale and snow peas instead of french fries and potato chips, you’re probably eating *more* phytochemicals as well as lots of fiber.

  5. Cool study about the pastured high fat dairy. But the big question is: was the dairy used in that study raw or pasteurized? I personally consume a lot of pastured milk. I have access to raw milk, which I freeze in ice cube trays so it doesn’t go sour. But I also buy it “cooked” (unscientifically heated in a big pot until it is frothy and steamy) because it keeps so much longer that way. But I wonder if this low-tech pasteurization destroys all the good stuff in the milk.

  6. Hello Chris

    Is there any product that you’re using or recommend to record your sleep actigraphy?

    Alot of blogs recommend the Zeo Monitor but it seems they are out of business.


    • There seem to be more and more apps that utilize the sensors in your smart phone to monitor sleep. Depends on what kind of phone as to what is available.

      Also some pharmacies have a watch-like device that you can wear for a couple weeks (rental style) and it monitors your sleep habits as well. Then when you return it to the pharmacy you are provided with multiple reports including the amount of time sleeping, how many times you wake up, how long it takes you to fall asleep, and more. It also relates your level of sleep deprivation to alcohol intoxication with regards to mental functioning. This device has been used my many professional sports teams over the past few years including the Vancouver Canucks.