Milk & meat – a recipe for disease?

The China study is the most comprehensive study on nutrition by Dr T Colin Campbell.  6,500 chinese families are studied and he claims some 8,000 correlations around plant based nutrition and health.  I find these claims intriguing and have read on the counter claims too.  But for the purpose of this blog, I want to believe that there is one answer and a protocol for better health – plants.

Why do I feel the need to share?

Take a look at these statistics:

-90% of all diabetes worldwide is Type II.  ie preventable

-We join the USA, Malta and Spain as countries with the highest incidence of diabetes

-240,000 Kiwis have diabetes

-An estimated additional 100,000 may have it and are undiagnosed

-Maori and pacific islanders are 3 times more likely to have diabetes

-1.1 million kiwis are obese

-NZ women have the highest level of colon cancer in the OECD

-NZ men have the 3rd highest level of colon cancer in the OECD

Cholesterol
We’ve all learned that high levels of bad cholesterol is unhealthy and lead to heart disease.  My own levels aren’t the best by my own standards but seem ok by western standards.  LDL is at 107 with the recommended optimal being below 100.  Total cholesterol is 176 with recommended optimal below 200. 
My GP says nothing to worry about..however…by whose stick is she measuring health? 

Normal ranges of cholesterol (the ones you see next to your blood test results) are western standards.  Cholesterol levels taken from the China study show ranges between 70-170 mg/dl.  Basically what the chinese considered to be high is a Western standard of LOW cholesterol.  

Lower blood cholesterol levels are linked to lower rates of heart disease, cancer and other Western diseases, even at levels far below those considered “safe” in the West.

As blood cholesterol levels decreased from 170 mg/ dL to 90 mg/ dL, cancers of the liver, rectum, colon, male lung,  female lung, breast, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, childhood brain, adult brain,  stomach and esophagus (throat) decreased. The China study

Think on this for a minute… The results of the study correlated low ingestion of animal products with LOW rates of heart disease.  We aren’t just talking meat, this includes dairy products.

James Anderson, scientist on diabetes and diet found that a plant based, whole foods diet alone could lower total cholesterol levels by 32% in just over two weeks.

A key point to understand is that cholesterol is produced by the consumption of animal fat.  Cholesterol CANNOT be derived from eating plants.

And if you need more information, take a gander at the documentary ‘Simply raw’ by Gabriel Cousins..who is legendary in the raw world, an MD, holistic doctor and staunch advocate of a raw diet in curing a multitude of chronic illnesses including type II diabetes.

“Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure. “– The American Diabetes Association

The results of this Simply raw study hotly contest this statement.  A group of Type I and Type II diabetics are bought together and put on a raw food diet for 30 days.  The results are nothing short of astounding:

-blood sugar levels dropped between 65-214 points
-cholesterol levels dropped up to 60 points
-weight loss
-most dropped all insulin and medication

Protein
The best source of protein, having the best building blocks for the body is human flesh.  But since cannibalism is illegal and most of us don’t have the rapacious appetite of Hannibal Lector, we usually settle for some cow or lamb.

Of the 6,500 families over 65 counties surveyed, a higher level of animal based protein positively correlated with a high incidence of liver cancer.

Cassein – why milk could be for calves – not people
At the risk of being stopped at the border and not being allowed back into the country, the findings of the China study on milk (cassein) and its correlation with heart disease and cancer are integral.  In the following test rats were fed casein, derived from milk.

Rats generally live for about two years, thus the study was 100 weeks in length. All animals that were administered aflatoxin and fed the regular 20% levels of casein either were dead or near death from liver tumors at 100 weeks. All animals administered the same level of aflatoxin but fed the low 5% protein diet were alive, active and thrifty, with sleek hair coats at 100 weeks.  The China study

Summary
What conclusions do I draw after reading the China study?  I think we are all looking to be given the correct protocol so we don’t have to do the research ourselves into what works best for us.  I know I’d rather have that work done FOR me.  But alas, we are all unique, requiring unique protocols.  In my experience, actioning the health plan is always the hard part!

But there is a diet foundation that we can all build from.  And I think its simple.  More organic whole plant food, raw and cooked leads to better health.

From my own experience, when I was eating 80% raw organic last year I have NEVER felt better.  I was at my slimmest, I had the glow, my hair felt amazing and I had the flattest tummy ever…

So do meat and dairy cause cancer? Short answer is No.  Not by themselves.  But in excess and in conjunction with other poor nutrition, yes.  They are mucuous forming, acidic foods.  If you eat too much and you’re one of those unlucky sensitive (or you’re getting older, like me) peeps, then yes I’d cut them.  If you’re sick, I’d cut them.   Any imbalance in the body left unchecked WILL lead to disease.

All you can do is get regular health checks and eat many veges…and..

..find your inner Chinaman… they apparently have this sorted 🙂

References
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

Simply raw by Gabriel Cousins

The China study by Dr T Colin Campbell

White Death – Leptin resistance deconstructed

blood sugar acu check

This morning I stabbed myself in the finger and tested my blood sugar levels.  Because I’m a freak like that.  I love these gadgets, how cool is technology these days?  I wanted to get an idea of how my fasting bloods looked because I was doing a bit of reading on diabetes last night and my body is sensitive to sugar.

So, my reading is 5.7mmol.  This is not a fabulous level.  And I’m keen on testing over the course of a few days to see if it averages out at a similar level.  Blood sugar levels are affected by what was eaten the night before, which happens to be just some coconut kefir yoghurt – no sugar added.  Blood sugar will be lower when you roll out of bed, compared to if you have been busy moving around.  And it will be lower before eating food than after. When I chatted to my GP she suggested a month of testing to determine an average.

..so my reading was 5.7, which according to Healthline.com can be pre diabetic, however the ranges vary depending on where you are reading.

…so just for a laugh, I ate a bowl of oat bran and retested.  It went up to 7.  The normal range is about 5-7.

In terms of the legitimacy of these gadgets...

Well they are used by diabetic patients to monitor blood sugar levels and I guess that the quality of the machine is important as well as following the protocol.

AND…I had bloods done 6 weeks ago which showed a reading of 95 mg/dl.  Anything under 100 is considered normal.  HOWEVER this is interesting….

In a new study with 46,000 participants with blood sugar with less than 100, of the people with blood sugar 95-99 over the next 7 years, were 2 and a half times more likely to get Diabetes 2 than those with blood sugar at 85.

People with blood sugar 90-94 are 49% more likely to get Type 2 diabetes

While these levels seem high, I should probably add that I’d been binging on sugar and fatty stuff before I had the blood test while I was going through a low period, and this will definitely have an impact on levels.

The important thing to note is the bigger picture.  What do cholesterol, triglycerides and cholesterol/HDL ratio look like and what are the symptoms experienced?  My ratio’s and triglycerides are fine and I’m not overweight.  Interestingly, there is a link between post menopausal women and type 2 diabetes which I’m interested in given my low levels of progesterone.

Estrogen triggers insulin resistance, so the combination of oestrogen dominance and sugar sensitivity is not a good one.  Will be interested to see what my estrogen levels look like!!

My levels are as follows:

LDL 107

HDL 62

Chol/HDL ratio 2.8

Triglyceride 44

White death

I’m referring to sugar.  For some people, sugar is ok to have sometimes.  I find that I’m sensitive to sugar.  As soon as I have sugar, I want more sugar.  This can be an indication of Candida.  Candida and bacteria feed off sugar.

This is how it goes usually…

Sugar increases insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance creates leptin resistance.

What is Leptin?

Leptin is a hormone produced by fat cells that plays a crucial role in appetite and weight control.  Leptin determines your health and your life span.

What is leptin resistance?

This is when there is leptin circulating in the body, but the body is not responding the way its meant to.  Usually when your fat stores are full, leptin is produced, sending a signal to the brain to ‘STOP EATING!!’ and stop storing fat.

Why does leptin resistance occur? When the body is continuously subjected to surges of leptin, it eventually becomes resistant to the signals.  This generally occurs with a diet high in sugar (particularly fructose),  grains and processed food.  These are the same foods that create inflammation in the body.

Metabolism can roughly be termed the chemistry that turns food into life

Insulin and leptin work together to control the quality and rate of metabolism.  If your metabolism is out, its likely this will have a number of consequences.

How does Diabetes and blood sugar fit in?

The shattering fall back to earth after the indulgence of a chocolate bar is not cool.  How often in my past have I been starvingly hungry, and reached for the most convenient food thats in my path?  I’m shuddering when I think of the roller coaster of spikes in blood sugar that my body was experiencing and the havoc that ensued after years of sugar abuse. While that hit of sugar might temporarily increase energy and assuage hunger, there wasn’t any sustained energy.  And the body, once deprived of the hit, then gets sleepy and dull. Foods with little fibre are the main culprits.  Carbohydrates like white rice, white bread.  Then fizzy drinks, fatty deep fried fast food and processed food  While some have bandied about that saturated fats are not so good like red meat and dairy.  I’m of the opinion that as long as the meats not processed (and its better if its organic and good quality), that meat is good in small amounts.  Dairy, I’m still on the fence.  I prefer raw and organic if I was to have it, but generally from what I’ve read, dairy is very mucuous forming ..and a whole bunch of other things.  Dairy deserve a blog of its own!

Common spikers White rice and bread – research has shown that by replacing even a third of your white rice intake with brown rice, the risk of heart disease reduces by 16%.  Its the fibre that reduces the spike.  Whole grains promote loss of body fat – they make you skinnier!

2 out of 3 people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke 44% of kidney failure occur in diabetes sufferers

Fizzy drink and fruit juice – There is a 26% higher chance of developing diabetes 2 by drinking 1-2 glasses of fizzy drink a day. Fruit juice can be an even bigger culprit being full of fructose – if not had in moderation.  The main issue with fruit juice is the lack of fibre which slows digestion giving a lower glycemic load overall.

Red or processed meat – Research has shown that eating processed meat like sausages, hot dogs and bacon doubles the risk of developing diabetes.

Fast food – Not only spikes blood sugar but the high level of salt can increase blood pressure if taken regularly.  And

Triglycerides.  A Canadian study showed that eating a fatty fast food meal spiked blood sugar in 32% of healthy people who didn’t have diabetes.

Processed food – Tend to increase bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, because they are high in trans fats.  The combination of sugar and refined ingredients

Saturated fat

Studies have shown the eating too much of products loaded in saturated fat, such has red meat, butter and whole milk contribute to the development of diabetes 2 by increasing insulin resistance.

Surprising causes of blood sugar swings

-stress -dehydration -prescription medication -menstruation -lack of sleep -extreme temperatures -travel -caffeine -high levels of cardio exercise -grains 

cardio exercise – keeping the heart rate elevated spike hormone levels and promote production of free radicals

Some women become less sensitive to insulin during menstruation, causing blood sugar spikes..ahhh that explains all those uncontrollable sugar urges!

Blood sugar balancing requires FAT

When eating carbohydrates, introducing fat, leads to slower absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.  Adequate fat is needed for the proper digestion and consumption of protein. The gallbladder stores biles, which digests fat. If we don’t eat fat, toxins and hormones sit in the gallbladder, unable to be removed.

Brief summary

Not everyone has a sugar sensitivity.

But if you have symptoms like obesity or hard to shift weight, fatigue, coated tongue, poor digestion including bloating and gas, dull complexion and lifeless hair, taking some time out to get your bloods done and a health check is well worth the investment.

Information is critical to better health practices!

However, in general, EVERYONE will benefit from cutting down on sugar consumption.  Its not the occasional cake that has led to the epidemic of Diabetes, its the huge increase of sugar in everyday consumption hidden in those pretty packaged foods that promote convenience.

References:

http://www.wellsource.com/articles-mhc/What-Should-Your-Blood-Sugar-Level-Be.html http://www.kefir.net/nutritional-content-of-kefir/