My favorite post (so far)

November 23, 2010
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A couple months ago, I hired a grad student, Aices Salvador, part-time to help me provide this website with top quality content.  She has been great.  Recently, I asked Aices to provide – in the first person – what she’s learned about nutrition, especially the paleo diet.  Below is her account (we edited it together).

“What I’ve learned Doing Research on Nutrition and Paleo diet”

While doing research about the Paleo diet, I have learned many things not only about Paleo diet but also the nutritional benefits of different kinds of foods and their content. Many of these things are counter to popular wisdom.

Before this research, I only knew about vegetarian and body building diets. I really had no idea that such a thing as the caveman diet existed. I was surprised to know that there are people who are strictly following the Stone Age eating diet of our ancestors from millions of years ago – even though we are now in the 21st century.

While many things around us change very quickly, our bodies haven’t  adapted as quickly to the modern diet of processed foods, grains, sugar and legumes.

The Paleo diet consists of eating raw and whole foods like meats, vegetables, fruits, and seafood.  It involves totally eliminating processed and convenient foods such as sugars, grains, popcorn, corn chips, ice cream, sweet potatoes, dairy, processed meats, several oils including corn and soybean, and beans or legumes including peanuts. My mom used to give me peanuts during exams because, according to her, it would sharpen my brain!

Just as interesting is that I found out a strict Paleo dieter cares not only about what she eats, but also what the animals ate before she eats their meat.  Healthier animals make healthier meat.  Generally, the best thing to look for is grass-fed beef.  Corn-fed beefs offer less health benefits because these cows are raised not in their natural habitat and fed not with their natural food – grass, but in a crowded and smelly feedlot.

I have also discovered from my research that sports drinks, oranges, electrolyte symmetry and some energy drinks contain electrolytes which play a major role in our health.

Electrolytes keep a healthy balance in some of our vital bodily processes such as heart and nerve functions, muscle control and coordination, fluid absorption and excretion, and concentration. This prevents us from dehydration and offers fast energy recovery. Honestly, this is what I need because I easily get tired and dehydrated during exercise and often feel some of these symptoms.

I’ve also learned the benefits of Vitamin D3 and where it can be obtained. Actually, I used to put on lots of sun block and whitening lotion anytime I went outside and I always avoided sunlight as much as possible.

But now, after this research, I found out that vitamin D3 can be obtained through sun exposure and that vitamin D3 offers a lot of health benefits to our body such as supporting our bones, strengthening our immune system, helping in brain development, and lowering the risks of having illness such as osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Now, I am not afraid to go out of the house and expose my skin to the sun. I realize that sunlight is a friend, not a foe. It is a natural gift from God and it should not be avoided.

Being from an area with coconuts, I was struck by what I learned during my research on the nutritional benefits of coconut water.  In the past, I only knew about the health benefits of coconut oil and not the water from it.

This all natural coconut water is used to refresh, refuel, re-hydrate, feed and maintain the proper nourishment and fluid levels in our bodies. Based on this and the many other benefits I’ve learned about in coconut water, I now consistently to drink coconut water daily.

In fact, I get my dad to buy coconut water every morning after he drives my nephews to school.

Unfortunately, I learned that most foods that I like are part of the “Foods to Avoid” list on the Paleo diet – foods like cake, ice cream, chips, cheese, etc.  Currently, I am thinking hard about whether to continue consuming these foods since now I know the health risks and lack of nutrition in these foods.

This research into the Paleo diet has really changed the way I look at foods and has caused me to modify my eating lifestyle and daily living. Now, I am starting to be part of the Paleo diet community.

References:

Jönsson T, Granfeldt Y, Ahrén B, Branell UC, Pålsson G, Hansson A, Söderström M, Lindeberg S. (2009, July 16). Beneficial effects of a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc Diabetol. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from http://www.cardiab.com/content/8/1/35.

Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. (February 11, 2009). Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 63 (8): 947–55.

Eaton SB, Cordain L, Eaton SB (2001). An evolutionary foundation for health promotion. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 90: 5–12.

Pollan, M. (2009). The Omnivores Dilemma for Kids: The secrets behind what you eat. The Penguin Group. USA.

Robinson, J. (2010). Grass-Fed Basics. Retrieved on November 1, 2010, from http://www.eatwild.com/basics.html.

Webb, M. (2009). Where they grow our junk food. Retrieved on November 3, 2010, from http://www.thestar.com/mobile/news/ontario/article/708661–where-they-grow-our-junk-food.

Coconut water Nutrition and Health Benefits. Retrieved on November 14, 2010, from

http://hubpages.com/hub/Coconut-water-Nutrition-and-Health-Benefits.

Schmid, Ron. (n.d.). Retrieved on November 6, 2010, from

http://www.realmilk.com/healthbenefits.html

Yaeger, T. Jr. (2008). Electrolyte Madness. Retrieved on November 10, 2010, from

http://www.usc.edu/CSSF/History/2008/Projects/J0516.pdf

Pinili, D. High sugar Content in Sports Drinks and Possible Association With Weight Gain. Retrieved on November 10, 2010, from

http://ezinearticles.com/?High-Sugar-Content-in-Sports-Drinks-and-Possible-Association-With-Weight-Gain&id=5087124

Paleotrition Electrolyte Symmetry. Retrieved on November 10, 2010 from

http://www.paleotrition.com/Electrolyte_Symmetry_p/els350.htm

Sheridan, G. Health Benefits of Vitamin D3. Retrieved on November 13, 2010 from

http://www.ehow.com/about_4691534_health-benefits-vitamin-d.html

Benefits of Vitamin D3. Retrieved on November 14, 2010, from

http://vitamins.lovetoknow.com/Benefits_of_Vitamin_D3

Coconut water Nutrition and Health Benefits. Retrieved on November 14, 2010, from

http://hubpages.com/hub/Coconut-water-Nutrition-and-Health-Benefits.

Coconut Water Health Benefits. Retrieved on November 14, 2010, from

http://www.foreverlookingood.com/coconut-water-health-benefits.

Paleolithic Diet: How our bodies want to be treated. Retrieved on November 22, 2010, from http://pecanbread.com/healingcrow/dietsmain/paleo/paleo.html.

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