Category Archives: Metabolic Syndrome

Juicing Diets May Just Be Too Sweet

The Juicing Diet claims

You have probably heard people touting the benefits of a juicing diet. The “nutrients are in the juice” “speed up the absorption of nutrients”, “concentrate the nutrients”…etc. These are the claims of proponents of heavy juicing diets. While this can be partially true, there is a significant problem that few hear about. It is the very concentration of the juice that is the issue.

I will acknowledge that juice from fresh fruit and veggies is a decent source of nutrients. It does even concentrate them in a smaller easier to ingest form. But remember, EVERYTHING in the juice is concentrated. Why does this matter? Have you ever wondered why fruits and vegetables have all that fibrous build up around all that healthy juice? It was no mistake they were created that way. It is the same reason pharmaceutical pills are designed as time release, dissolving tablets and capsules.

Why Juice comes in a Fibrous Package

Your body requires a measured dose of macro and micro nutrients each day, throughout the day. While a juicing diet does flood the many essential nutrients rapidly, one element of juice makes drinking too much, or using juice as your vegetable intake a dangerous proposition. Sugar. Yes juices have all the sugar from the vegetables and fruits they come from. This can be a lot. Fiber provides a safe and manageable absorption rate for these nutrients and sugars to be absorbed. Without regulation, excess sugar consumed too rapidly, even from healthy foods, is bad for you. As discussed in the posts on this site Type 2 Diabetes and other problems including cardiovascular disease, are associated with excess sugars in the diet, and increased insulin levels. It does not matter where the sugar comes from, even if its supposed to be a healthy juicing diet. We are not saying a Juicing diet would cause Type 2 Diabetes, but the spikes in sugar and insulin can be an unhealthy roller coaster for your body to ride.

When you eat whole foods veggies and fruits included, they are like time release capsules. The nutrients are assimilated into the body in a slow methodical and calculated digestive process, which allows the body to unpack and distribute nutrients and sugars in an organized way. The fiber in those foods actually regulate and slow the process of assimilation so the bodies systems can keep up with the intake, particularly of the sugars. This allows insulin levels to keep a measured pace and the body can use the energy from the sugars during the few hours of assimilation.

The Sugar Flood

Juice however takes all the roadblocks out of the process. Its like a torrential downpour on a drought stricken area. Flash floods and erosion, instead of saturation. So much sugar is taken in so fast (think of how many apples it takes to make an average glass of juice) your body cannot possibly assimilate it quickly enough, and the result is excess sugar in the system, releasing excess insulin, possibly even creating insulin resistance over time, just like too  much candy or fast food. Then the excess sugar the body cannot assimilate or expel fast enough is turned into fat, and stored as metabolically active and toxin releasing cells, which can even create or exacerbate inflammation and all the inflammatory disorders so common today.

The fact is you need the fiber. The fiber is essential to regulating blood sugar, and keeping the GI tract in good shape. Fiber also fills space, so you feel full and don’t take in too much food. In addition to fruit and vegetable fibers good fiber sources include: beans, bran, brown rice, and nuts. You can even use powdered varieties, but the whole grains and complete foods are always best both for the fiber, nutrients, and sugars.

The Balance of a Juicing Diet

Obviously moderate use of juice can be beneficial. Adding protein and fiber to a smoothie can also help make a concentrated juicing diet a little more balanced. But it is always best to eat as many whole fruits and vegetables as is possible, since they are perfectly designed to allow the body to properly use and distribute the components of the food appropriately.

In my next post I will address the importance of water.

Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Sugars in the diet.

So, we are always told that to make a successful diet plan, you need to decrease food intake, and increase activity. That is by far a monumental oversimplification and is actually wrong thinking. A successful diet often actually increases food intake, along with moderate, but not necessarily vigorous activity. Your body needs food, and taking this away can weaken your system. But the right kind of foods are essential, and in proper proportion, and with good spacing between them. (we will get to some of that later)

PROTEIN

Protein for instance is a vital building block the body needs in the diet to function and make muscle, skin, hair, and other tissues in the body. Without the right amount of dietary protein each day, you are depriving your body of essential nutrients needed to make you healthy, build new cells and strengthen your immune system. Protein also aids in the manufacture of hormones and enzymes to help with digestion, and proper metabolism of foods. There are many sources of good protein, all meats, vegetables, and legumes have it in varied amounts, but the best sources are actually fish (due to high Omega 3 fatty acids), eggs, lean meats, nuts, and even dairy products.

Some protein should be included with each meal in your diet, because these high protein foods are usually low GI (Glycemic Index) foods, or low sugar load foods which means they will fill you up, without creating cravings for more high glycemic foods. This will control your appetite and reduce unhealthy cravings, causing better distribution of nutrients throughout the day.

CARBOHYDRATES AND SUGAR

When it comes to carbohydrates, and sugars in the diet, this is where it gets tricky. You need carbs, and sugars since they are what provide good sources of all kinds of good dietary components like fiber, energy, vitamins and minerals, bioflavonoids, isoflavones, polyphenols, things all needed for proper body function. Some carbohydrates however are not good for you since they are “High GI” foods and can spike the sugars in your system as we discussed earlier, and create problems with your bodies regulatory system for sugars with insulin, and can actually lead to type 2 Diabetes over time. The more refined and processed the carbohydrates and sugars, the worse off your system will be. Soda, candy, cookies, cake, white bread, bagels, french fries, potato chips, white rice, and all the high sugar breakfast cereals are all very processed, and are high GI foods that spike your sugars when included in the diet. This raises insulin, and results in stored fat, and low energy, adding more risk for chronic disease and all sorts of inflammation.

SWALLOW THEM WHOLE

If you are going to eat the right carbohydrates, you need to eat whole foods, naturally provided with fruits, vegetables, beans, and unrefined grains like whole grain breads and pastas, instead of the pretty white refined ones.

We will next discuss a good food composition in the diet plan, how to structure a plan to get the right components, and when and how to eat them.

Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Metabolic Syndrome is one of the most prevalent health issues facing the industrialized world. Basically it is the name for the condition associated with the following combination of factors any 3 of which together are indicators of the condition:

1. Blood pressure = or above 130/85 mmHg

2. Fasting blood sugar (glucose) = or above 100 mg/dL

3. Increased waist circumference (central fat) in Men of 40 or more inches and in Women of 35 inches or more

4. Low HDL (also called good) cholesterol in Men – under 40 mg/dL and in Women – under 50 mg/dL

5. Triglycerides equal to or higher than 150 mg/dL

These factors ultimately are associated with a gain in fat tissue ratio to lean tissue, resulting from improper diet and lifestyle, which increases the overall fat content in the body, raising health risks significantly. This is not always seen in obvious visible obesity. In some cases persons whose body size is not necessarily significantly larger, will be what is called “over fat” while not necessarily overweight. However much of the time the visceral or central fat tissue is a visible sign of problems. This is not an aesthetic condition. How it looks is not the problem, but the actual quantitative effect on a persons health is. That is why what I do as a professional Lifestyle Educator is not a weight loss program per se, but a body composition program.

In 2001 the then Surgeon General of the United States David Satcher M.D. Ph.D. issued a report entitled Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity”. This report indicated the significant health risks, premature death, disability, health care costs, and other factors associated with any overweight condition, and obesity. Just this year, the current Surgeon General Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin M.D. M.B.A. has issued a report entitled “The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010” which explains her take on this concept with both reports calling the problem “epidemic”.

As a result of this overweight, obesity, and metabolic syndrome problem, the bodies of persons affected by these conditions will often develop a resistance to the proper utilization of insulin. As mentioned in a couple other posts about Type 2 Diabetes, this resistance tends to grow and ultimately can result in full blown type 2 diabetes if left unchecked.

Metabolic Syndrome is actually pretty easy to prevent though. With a system of properly scheduled meals, as well as well proportioned meal sizes you can keep your body fed, and reduce the risk of any of these conditions. One important thing to note is, if at all possible, never skip a meal! This seems counter-intuitive. Most people would think taking in less calories would help the body lose unwanted pounds. This is actually the opposite. When you skip meals, you force your body to basically eat itself to get the energy it needs, and you lose important lean mass which is calorie burning, metabolic tissue, since the protein in muscle is what is usually used to get this energy. You then eat a large meal being starving, and the body must store the unusable excess food eaten as fat. Your body needs a constant flow of nutrients and calories to keep going, so you need to eat to lose weight. So never skip meals!

If you live in the Orange County California area call me for a personal consulting session, and I can formulate a personal plan for your metabolism. Call me at 714-866-9649.