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Cholestrol 101: Eat less carbohydrate, more healthy fats to avoid a heart attack.

27 Oct

Whenever I try to convince a friend to take up Paleo Diet, I always get accusations like “But all that meat’s going to jack up your cholesterol, and then you’re gonna die from stroke!” I wish replying to that is as easy as shoving a good serving of beef and bacon to their mouth, but we are a civilized society, and I’ll let the scientific findings speak for themselves. But the truth is never simple, and as such this article will be long in order to be comprehensive.

It is understood in the scientific world now that fats do not make you fat, carbohydrates do. But we shall only focus “Cholesterol” in this article. For this purpose I shall refer you to the cholestrol explanation in Primal Blueprint p. 73-80.
First of all, if your doctor is suggesting that you avoid red meat to lower your cholesterol, how is that working out for you? If you lower red meat and saturated fat intake but yet maintains a high carbohydrate diet, chances are if anything your cholesterol will keep rising. At some point it reaches a certain threshold and your physician decides to prescribe you medications to suppress it, but even with that comes some other risks – as we will discuss below.

The whole conventional wisdom that eating fat will cause high cholesterol, ergo heart diseases can be refuted by many research studies available today. The most notable one mentioned by Mark Sisson is the Framingham Heart Disease Study. This particular research studied eating habits of 15,000 participants in Framingham, MA over 3 generations (started 1948). The conclusions of these studies are:

  • There is no correlation between dietary cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol levels.
  • Residents who ate the most cholesterol, saturated fat, and total calories actually weighed the least and were the most physically active.

Much reexamination and research has been conducted following the study above, and it is clear now that heart disease is caused by excessive oxidation and inflammation of a certain type of cholesterol that constitutes a small fraction of the mostly beneficial stuff in our bloodstream.

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Links: Easy Steps to going Paleo, Debunking Fasting Myths

23 Oct

5 Easy Steps to the Paleo Diet Lifestyle | Uncommon Wellness (Reading time: 10min)
We have been preaching about the great benefit of Paleo diet, and if you want to start, the time is now. Learn how you can educate yourself, commit, prepare, and build a support group to make sure you succeed.

Top 10 Fasting Myths Debunked (Reading time: 20min)
This one is a long one. Get your cup of cocoa and plow through this very insightful article on all the popular myths told about fasting.

Repost: 146 Reasons Why Sugar is Ruining Your Health (Via Healthy Diet and Science)

22 Oct

Original article here

146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health

Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.

1. Sugar can suppress the immune system.

2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body.

3. Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

4. Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

5. Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases).

6. Sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function, the more sugar you eat the more elasticity and function you loose.

7. Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins.

8. Sugar leads to chromium deficiency.

9. Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries.

10. Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose.
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Links for today: Lectins, Rice, Grain-fed Beef and Potatoes

22 Oct

Hey folks, here’s some links I dug up from Mark Sisson’s site regarding Rice, grass-fed vs. grain-fed beef and potatoes. For you seasoned veterans, feel free to refresh your memories. For the next wave participants, here’s some homework for you.

The Lowdown On Lectins | Mark’s Daily Apple
Talks about the protein Lectins found in grains, legumes and dairy… What are they and why they can cause so many diseases.

Is Rice Unhealthy? | Mark’s Daily Apple
Great insight on rice if your current diet comprises largely on rice. Turns out, just like Raw grass-fed milk, rice is the least worst of poisons among grains. What a relief for the rest of us still craving for sushi. Then again, use moderation, and rice still isn’t optimal for weight-loss.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations | Mark’s Daily Apple
Grass-fed beef vs. Grain-fed beef. Most of you have probably eaten grain-fed beef your whole life. Here’s a peek at why grain-fed beef is so problematic. It’s laden with hormones, antibiotics, bacteria, poor omega 3:6 ratio, and the cows are basically dying by the time they’re ready for the slaughterhouse. If you must eat grain-fed, go for the leanest cuts to avoid inflamation from eating bad fats.

Are Potatoes Paleo? | Mark’s Daily Apple
Ultimately, experiment with it yourself. If you’re a lean mean athlete, potatoes might help fuel you with energy. But for the average mortals, potatoes might mean too much calories, gut irritation (to some extent) and other problems.

How To Stay Paleo in the Office – Food Ideas for the Cubicle Dwellers

16 Oct

Here’s a couple of meal ideas for you office warriors. You’ll need an office lounge area with a refrigerator and a microwave. If your office has no fridge, no fear. You can still bag everything in a cold pack bag.

1. Bag of almonds, walnuts, macadenia, macademia, trail mix. (F)
This is the standard thing to munch on whenever you get a hunger pang. I prefer almonds, and 5pcs usually do the fix for me. Great to store inside your office drawer since it’ll last 1-2months locked fresh in a ziplock, which is sort of like forever in Paleo food world. Get a pound of nuts and store them in a ziplock bag, and munch away whenever you need it. Way better than getting a snicker bar and soda from the office vending machine.

2. Cold bacon (F)
Easy stuff. Fry/bake a pound, and store in a tupperware. Last for 3 days in the fridge, cooked. Eat it for lunch or snacks. Dip it in guacamole or salsa for variety.

3. Avocados (F)

Eat half an avocado for lunch, the other half for tomorrow’s lunch. Tricky business, you’ll have to keep the other half completely sealed in a tupperware so that it won’t go dark (oxidized) the next day.

4. Deli Meat (P)
This might be a more expensive choice knowing that most goes for $8/lb or more. But it’s convenient, and much easier to portion out (than a slab of steak or salmon fillet). If you do go with this, pick the low sodium, no nitrate variety. You get what you pay for. Same deal, can be packaged inside ziplock, have it with your carrots, celery sticks and avocados.

5. Cottage Cheese (P)
Personal Experience: I did a whole week of diet based mostly on an apple, Deli meat and cottage cheese for snacks. Yup, finished a huge tub of cottage cheese from Traders’s Joe. I hated the taste of cottage cheese, it’s bland. But you pick your poison. Do know that this is not as protein dense as say, any form of meat, fowl or seafood.

6. Carrots, baby tomatoes, celeries (C)
Same deal, bag ’em and munch ’em!

7. Fruits (C)
If you’re not too worried about fructose content and weight loss, go ahead and have some fruits. Apples, citrus, berries, melons are good convenient choices.

8. Yogurt (C)
Not paleo by any measure. I don’t know why you’d need to eat this, but the ladies can’t get off this one. Choose full-fat variations.

9. Packaged cooked meat (P)
Trader Joe has 12oz. packages of chicken and sliced beef cooked in various flavors, eg. Lemon, herbs and garlic, salt. Just microwave and serve. Note the short expiry date.

10. Protein powder (P)
Quick protein source for those of you too busy for lunch. Perfect for lunch if you’re the type that sneak out to work out during lunch break, that means you’re doing both post-workout nutrition AND lunch. Bam!

11. Hard boiled eggs (P/F)
Boil some eggs in the morning while you shower. Bag them up, share with colleagues, store them for days in the office fridge.

12. Sausages (P/F)
Go for the apple smoked sausages. Grill before work, you can eat it by itself, with a bowl of salad or wrap it with a huge lettuce head, protein-style!

Or if you’re in the mood for bribing your colleagues to believe how awesome this eating lifestyle is, bring a whole feast of Avocado Deviled Eggs, Sweet Potato Fries, Paleo Pizza, and then hit their sweet tooth with Paleo Cookies. Here’s some links to the recipes:

Nutty Cookies (totally Paleo!)

Sweet Potato Fries (most delicious way of making it, I hear)

Delicious Multi-purpose dry rub, and another way you can make sweet potatoes

Fat Guacamole Devils (I make mine with Indonesian Hot sauce Dua belibis, creamy and spicy)

Review: If you’re not losing enough weight… What went wrong?

16 Oct

I found 2 good articles sharing reasons why some of you are are not getting optimal results. I dug up these articles since it has been a month of body composition plateau for me and I thought I should share some of the favorites that I found in these articles.

From 17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight – Mark’s Daily Apple:

#1 You think you are eating healthy, but you aren’t

Does your diet consist of a massive amount of “products”? Low-carb or not, you want to eatreal food. Flagons of diet soda, plates of pure fiber in the shape of noodles, and loaves of 1g net carb “bread” do not a Primal eating plan make. You’re just feeding an addiction and consuming empty calories – sound familiar? Disregard the labels and look inside for what you know to be true: this crap isn’t food, and you shouldn’t be eating it. It’s about way more than just low-carb.

This one holds true back in the day when I haven’t done enough reading. Dairy, chocolate soy for post-workout, too much peanut sauce. Also, I speculated for a long time that I’m allergic to fish, but only came to confirming it this week.

#13 You are full of excuses

If you find yourself having mini self-contained internal arguments throughout the day (and you lose), or (even worse) lying to yourself about what you’re eating and doing, you’re probably also full of excuses. Read this, maybe twice, then follow up with this.

#15 You are not getting enough sleep

Chronic levels of sleep deprivation cause the release of cortisol, our old fat-storing friend. The biggest spike in (fat-burning, anabolic) growth hormone plasma levels occurs in deep sleep. And a recent sleep study showed that truncated sleep patterns are linked to weight gain. Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

From Primal Body|Primal Mind:
4) Believing that exercise can “make up for” unhealthy eating habits.

I could go on with this one for hours. It’s an extremely common misconception and one that allows far too many people to rationalize extremely unhealthy dietary habits. Exercise does not determine your biochemistry—diet does. It’s true that exercise (properly done) has many important health benefits. It can help improve, for instance, insulin sensitivity. This will not, however, somehow magically compensate for eating that stack of pancakes for breakfast. Although it is possible to burn off the sugar (with anaerobic exercise) it is NOT possible to burn off the insulin. Trans-fats, too, will NOT melt away and evaporate on the treadmill or stationary bike at the gym after you ate those French fries for lunch. Exercise is an ADJUNCT to a healthy diet…NOT a substitute.

For more detailed lists, hit up the original links:
17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight – Mark’s Daily Apple

Top 10 Worst Nutritional & Dietary Mistakes people make – Primal Body|Primal Mind
Additional: Reason #11 and #12 – Performance Paleo

fun article to read – eating paleo in a non-paleo world

12 Oct

Do you want to Lose Weight??

30 Sep

I probably should have posted this earlier but the truth to the matter is just today I was able to go through Robb Wolf’s new website and found this great Quick Start Guide. It’s short, simplified and easy to follow. If you have not seen any changes in your body or on the way you feel, re-evaluate what you’re been eating and compare it with the guide.


  1. 4-8 oz of lean protein every meal
  2. 3-4 meals per day
  3. Eat no more than 50 grams of carbohydrates in a day
  4. Limit fruit to 1 serving.
  5. Limit nuts to 1-2 oz
  6. Beverages are coffee, tea, minearal water. Unsweetened, this includes stevia

Easy enough right? Are you ready to commit? Follow the Paleo Solution’s Quick Start Guide and let’s start losing some weight and feeling great.

Link: How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days) – From Tim Ferris

21 Sep

The following is an except from Robb Wolf‘s new Bestseller Paleo Solution book on why you should avoid gluten. It’s very comprehensive, and the comments are quite informative too.

If you don’t know Tim, he’s the best-selling author of 4 Hour Work Week, a dancing champion, a Chinese kickboxing champion, a venture capitalist, speaks many languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese)  and dabbles in many other amazing things. He’s better knows for being “The Original Lifehacker”.

I’ve been a huge fan of Tim’s since 2 years ago and Robb’s since the start of my Paleo/Zone/Crossfit journey, and it’s exciting seeing the 2 powerhouses sharing the love.

Repost: The Benefits of Saturated Fats

16 Sep

This is a repost from CrossFit One World‘s post about Carnitas and the benefits of saturated fat. Saturated Fat has gotten a lot of bad rep in today’s news and practically all around. But in truth, it has a lot of benefits compared to its bad effects that people are so afraid about. There should be a delicious picture of Carnitas here but I’ll let you check that out on the original post. If you ever want to get a good reading on random shit and rants about CrossFit related stuff, be sure to read CrossFit One World’s blog. They’re my favorite.

Excerpt from “The Benefits of Saturated Fats”
The much-maligned saturated fats which Americans are trying to avoid are not the cause of our modern diseases. In fact, they play many important roles in the body chemistry:

  • Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50% of the cell membranes. They are what gives our cells necessary stiffness and integrity.
  • They play a vital role in the health of our bones. For calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of the dietary fats should be saturated. (38)
  • They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease. (39) They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, such as Tylenol. (40)
  • They enhance the immune system. (41)
  • They are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
  • Elongated omega-3 fatty acids are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in saturated fats. (42)
  • Saturated 18-carbon stearic acid and 16-carbon palmitic acid are the preferred foods for the heart, which is why the fat around the heart muscle is highly saturated. (43) The heart draws on this reserve of fat in times of stress.
  • Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.

The scientific evidence, honestly evaluated, does not support the assertion that “artery-clogging” saturated fats cause heart disease. (44) Actually, evaluation of the fat in artery clogs reveals that only about 26% is saturated. The rest is unsaturated, of which more than half is polyunsaturated. (45)

More good reading on saturated fat:

“The Importance of Saturated Fats for Biological Functions”

“Saturated Fat Prevents Coronary Heart Disease? An American Parodox”

“Saturated Fat- The Misunderstood Nutrient”

In the last article, a good reason to to eat grass fed and organic meats and eggs:

“If you are eating high quality fats, such as pasture fed, non-medicated, organic eggs, dairy, poultry, and meat, you are doing your body good. If you are eating conventionally raised poultry and meat, it is a good idea to cut off the fat, as the medications, hormones and pesticides consumed by the animal will be concentrated in the fat, which will in turn be concentrated in your fat.”

PS: This statement in bold above surprised me a bit because I thought any fat was good, so I’ve been eating a lot of fatty meat (from Safeway). But it looks like it depends on how the meat is being raised as well. Grass-fed is way to pricey for me, so I will continue to get my meats from Safeway and Costco but will eat the fatty part in moderation. Or you can try Whole Foods and follow Hendra’s tips and suggestions on his post.