Start with Natural

Simply focusing on unrefined food is the key to achieving nutritional health From a clinicians point of view, it is already clear that differing amounts of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) affect individuals differently, and while there are best-practice guidelines for various desired outcomes, there is a large degree of individuality between the prescription for individuals. This variability has been termed by practitioners’ biochemical individuality, metabolic typing or other terms. However, there is, at this point in time, no accepted way to determine the macronutrient ‘tolerance’ of an individual, except in those cases where a specific diet benefits a disease or disorder (such as a ketogenic diet for epilepsy).  Carbohydrate is not essential,1 and yet can be extremely beneficial but the variability in any individual’s benefits from eating greater or lesser amounts of carbohydrate makes its prescription somewhat problematic. Due to its nature as an almost exclusively fuel-providing substrate, it is evident that carbohydrate intake should mostly be determined by two major factors: The activity level of the individual (latent activity from habits and nervous and ‘constitutional’ behaviours, work-type, and exercise intensity, frequency and volume)The metabolic tolerance to carbohydrate—which is likely to be dependent on genetic predisposition, and to exercise/activity and to dietary and medical history, especially where these factors may contribute to a tendency towards insulin resistance. The difficult part for anyone is to try to figure out their unique tolerance to the macronutrients. One could begin by counting calories and macronutrients and adjusting these to attempt to…

Evolution, Anthropology and Human Nutrition

It is clear that humans have only eaten an appreciable amount of the very high-carbohydrate foods (in particular sugar, and ultra-refined grains) for a fairly short time in their overall development. Now before anyone accuses me of being some crazy ‘Paleo guy’ remember that I started consulting in the nutrition field before Paleo was ‘cool’….way back in the late 1990s. But, as a rational scientist it does make sense to me, to look at what humans have eaten over their many tens of thousands of years of development and what the remaining free-living hunter-gatherer populations still eat, to at least provide some extra context to what we should be doing now. For many thousands of years’ humans survived as hunter-gatherers and it is only in the past several thousand (an evolutionary ‘blink of the eye’) that we have shifted to a diet in which grain-based and high-sugar foods dominate our food supply. It is even more recently that we began to eat the vast amounts of highly processed and ultra-refined foods that now make up the bulk of the modern diet. The agrarian shift reduced health of our ancestors At the time of the invention and rapid uptake of agriculture around 10,000 years ago, people’s height decreased and health suffered.1 While we tend to think that having an abundant supply of food would preserve health and performance the opposite appears to have taken place. What it instead provided food security. There are undoubted benefits to this, but the higher-grain diets…

Michelle Yandle – Empowered Eating

The Carb-Appropriate Podcast Ep.17 In this episode of the podcast, I chat with my good buddy Michelle Yandle. Michelle is a nutrition and health coach focused on empowered patterns of eating and lifestyle. You can find out more about Michelle at https://www.michelleyandle.com/ and her latest book at AMAZON The WELLFED event is happening in New Plymouth on the 26th of October 2019. Listeners of the podcast can get a discount on tickets by using code HPNDISCOUNT Michelle Yandle – The Carb-Appropriate Podcast Ep.17 LIVE

Why You Should Take a Daily Multi

Multivitamin and multimineral supplements are so common that you’d be hard-pressed not to be able to find one in any health store, supermarket or convenience store. But despite their universal use and availability, there is still some debate about whether multis are worth taking. I for one prescribe multis as a matter of course for many of my clients, for the simple reason that we may not always get all that we require from diet alone. Do we get all that we need from our diets? United States Department of Agriculture data shows that some fresh produce may only provide around half the amounts of some vitamins and minerals that they did in the 1950s.1  So, while we have been eating more over time, and taking in more than enough calories and ‘fuel’, we aren’t necessarily getting enough of the ‘little guys’, the vitamins, minerals and secondary nutrients essential to health and performance. Estimates from the New Zealand Ministry of Health ‘NZ Adult Nutrition Survey’ of 2008/2009 suggest that many New Zealanders are not getting the recommended amounts of many of the vitamins and minerals from their diets.2 Some of the key findings included: Around 20% of people fail to get sufficient vitamins A (one of our major anti-oxidant vitamins, vital for gene expression, eye health, and cell division), B1 and B6 (both essential for energy creation)8% of people fail to get sufficient B12. B12 is required for the proper functioning of nerve cells and without adequate B12 people can…

How to Easily Find Your Level of Carb-Tolerance

How to find your level of carb ‘tolerance’? Ketogenic diets have recently become the most searched diet term, overtaking vegan, plant-based, and Paleo. Despite the buzz, and the undoubted benefits of low-carb and ketogenic diets for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and the role in the treatment of neural disorders (amongst other benefits) many people thrive on high carbohydrate diets. On the other hand, many people also thrive on low carbohydrate diets, and a whole bunch are somewhere in between! So, where does that leave us? How do you know what you should eat? Often people give us advice based on what works for them. BUT just because a diet works for one person, doesn’t mean that it will work for everyone. A diet that works for you may or may not be a diet that works for someone else.   A few attempts have been made to determine how much protein or fat or carbohydrate someone should eat, based on questionnaires, blood type, or other physical characteristics. Unfortunately, most of these just haven’t panned out. For example, metabolic typing1—has failed to help improve fat-loss,2 blood type diets3 don’t work,4, 5 and physical somatotype (used to indicate relative ‘fatness’, muscularity, and linearity of the physique) hasn’t been studied with respect to whether someone responds better to higher or lower amounts of carbs. There is evidence though that someone’s relative level of insulin resistance might affect whether they respond better to a high, or low, carb diet.6-9 Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity describe…