38 Nutrition Facts That Need to be Common Sense [But Aren’t]

Are you tired of hearing conflicting information about nutrition every time you open up Facebook?

Me too…

I’ve got some good news for you,

There are some clear-cut facts about nutrition that you NEED to know. These facts will help you make sense of everything else you read and will help you build a foundation of information for future weight loss and better health.

So if you’ve ever felt confused about nutrition then this is for you:

1. There is no one size fits all diet that works for everyone

Just like you physically look different from your neighbor you both will thrive on different diets! This means you will most likely need different amounts of food, different macronutrient ratios, different types of carbs, etc.

It should go without saying, but many people get sucked into this trap. Especially if someone they know had success with a specific type of diet.

Just remember, everyone is different!

That being said you can follow some basic guidelines for finding a diet that jibes with your body and biochemistry…

  1. Eat real whole food that doesn’t have a label
  2. Try to eat vegetables with every meal
  3. Eat the rainbow
  4. Eat organic and grass-fed when possible
  5. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugars, and zero calorie sweeteners

Use these guidelines as a place to start, from there refine your diet to your personal preferences! If you find you thrive on higher protein or more meat then go for it! Likewise, if the thought of meat turns you off then focus on more vegetables or fish.

If meat, protein and low carb is your game you can find more information on the paleo diet here.

If your body thrives on plant-based diet look into Dr. Dean Ornish’s diet here.

If you want something in between then I would recommend the Mediterranean diet.

2. When you eat consider the little bugs in your gut

Feed your gut bugs

If you haven’t heard about the microbiome, let Dr. Jill Carnahan (Expert in Functional Medicine and Digestive diseases) fill you in… 
Dr. Jill Carnahan blog

 “Research now shows that a dramatic alteration in diet such as eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates can alter the microbiome in as little as 24 hours!  We also know that the microbiome talks to the immune system and regulates cytokine production, which can cause inflammation and increase intestinal permeability.  This is why the number one intervention I recommend for patients with autoimmune disease and leaky gut is change in diet to foster a healthy microbiome.”

Your body contains around 100 trillion bacteria, which outnumber your human cells 10 to 1!

In other words, you are 10% human.

Science is now finding that the type of bacteria you have in your gut changes based on what you eat, your stress (1) and how you exercise.

They are also finding that certain species of bacteria can even help you lose weight (2)!

Remember that every time you eat you aren’t only feeding your body, but you’re feeding the little bugs in your gut.

They need and love prebiotic foods, especially foods high in fiber.

Don’t neglect your little guys and they may just turn around and help you lose weight.

3. If you’re trying to lose weight stop weighing yourself and start measuring your body fat

Weight is a notoriously inaccurate way to measure fat loss – which really is the goal when people go on diets or make lifestyle changes.

The problem is…

Once you start losing fat mass from exercise and dietary changes your body compensates by increasing muscle mass! This usually results in a wash when you measure weight (unless you have > 50 pounds to lose).

A better way to assess how well your body is responding to changes is to measure your body fat percentage. This used to be expensive but nowadays you can get a fairly accurate reading with scales that have built-in bioelectrical impedance analysis.

It works by sending a current through the body and assessing the resistance. From there it estimates your total body water, fat-free body mass, and body fat.

If you don’t want to spend any money on a fancy scale then you can also measure your waist and mark your progress in inches lost!

The scale I recommend can be purchased off of Amazon
for $49.95.

4. Avoid low-fat diets for weight loss

Low fat diet is the best for weight loss

(The A TO Z Weight Loss Study: A Randomized Trial (3)

Low fat or no fat is synonymous with high sugar. For this reason, anything that claims to be low fat or no fat should be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, this low-fat diet is promoted heavily by doctors and nutritionist alike, despite the fact that it has been shown in many studies to be inferior to low carb diets for weight loss (4) and has very little to no effect on heart disease (5).

If you like the idea of eating low fat then focus on real whole foods that are low in fat like fruits and veggies. Avoid anything in the grocery store in a box or marketed as low fat, because these foods contain high levels of sugars and refined oils.

5. Eating a low glycemic load, anti-inflammatory diet with healthy fats and no added sugar or refined grains can help you with many different medical conditions…

From high blood pressure, autoimmunity, acne, aches, and pains to obesity – what you put in your mouth has an impact on your health.

I’m always amazed at what diet alone can do for my patients.

In fact, before you start on medication for any medical problem I would strongly recommend changing your diet to see if your problem persists. A 3 week round of a healthy diet is worth it, wouldn’t you say?

The Mediterranean diet is known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (6),

AND…

It’s pretty clear that there is some association between diet and longevity (with blue zones around the world)…

so give this one a try.

6. Cholesterol isn’t the bad guy

Heart diesease and risk of death

With heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States, it’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of “good” and “bad” cholesterol.

The truth is something far more complicated…

We do find cholesterol at the scene of the crime (the blocked coronary arteries in the heart) and we do tend to blame them for the heart attack, but this isn’t the whole story…

Clogged coronary arteries

This logic is similar to blaming crime on the police because cops are found at crime scenes!

The truth is that cholesterol can’t run around in your blood without being carried in a protective protein like ball called a lipoprotein.

It makes sense if you think about it – your blood is mostly water and cholesterol is fat. It’s like putting oil and water together, they just repel one another. To prevent this our body create a tiny little protein package to carry around the cholesterol through the body.

It’s the actual NUMBER of cholesterol-carrying particles (7) that increases your risk of heart attacks, NOT the cholesterol number itself.

Unfortunately, the only way to test for your LDL particle number is with the NMR lipoprofile, so if you want to look at this you will most likely have to ask your doctor for it.

7. “Gluten-free” and “organic” doesn’t automatically mean healthy

Don’t be confused into thinking that gluten-free cookies or cupcakes are somehow better for you than regular cupcakes or cookies.

Likewise spending the time to make your own homemade versions of high sugar containing gluten-free baked goods at home, they still aren’t good for you!

Stick to foods that are naturally gluten free and stay away from gluten-free junk food.

Similarly, don’t think you’re somehow getting better sugar when you buy organic sugar from Costco. Sugar is still sugar and gluten-free junk food is still junk food.

8. You can’t out exercise a bad diet

You can't out exercise a bad diet

It should go without saying, but no matter how much you exercise you simply cannot out exercise a bad diet.

Just look at the numbers: if you consume a 20-ounce soda, you would have to walk four and a half miles to burn it off.

Calories aside, this example doesn’t take into account the impact that sugar has on insulin levels and how that affects other hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and thyroid hormone.

The moral of the story:

Exercise is still very important, but you have to include a good diet if you want to see any changes.

9. There is such a thing as skinny fat

Skinny fat graphic

I’m sure you’ve heard the term Skinny fat. Or thin on the outside fat on the inside.

These names refer to a condition where people can have all the metabolic problems that overweight people have, but they still have a “normal” BMI or weight.

This is actually a huge problem and something I deal with in my practice frequently.

Many people who aren’t overweight falsely believe that they have nothing to worry about! When in fact many of these patients still have the same risk of heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and cancer risk as obese people.

How can you tell if you are skinny fat?

The best way to test is with a blood test called the Hgb A1c which tests your average blood sugar. If your Hgb A1c is > 5.7 and you have normal body weight, then you most likely are skinny fat.

Many people who fall into this category are people that can eat “whatever they want” without gaining weight. They consume tons of sugar, flour, and carbs and don’t seem to gain a pound.

10. When looking at health food labels don’t forget the “added sugars”

Added sugar food label

Most people when they look at food labels go right to the calories.

While calories are important, you may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts using this method.

Don’t forget to look at the “added sugars” on the food label, you can find this under the Carbohydrates portion of the food label.

As a rule of thumb do not eat more than 25g of added sugars per day. This recommendation comes from the WHO.

The scary part?

Many “healthy” and “low fat” foods can have as much as 20-30g of added sugar per serving!

Take for instance “healthy” vanilla flavored greek yogurt. This little sugar bomb (depending on the brand) contains as much as 20g of sugar in a small self serve package! That’s almost the entire amount of sugar you should eat in an ENTIRE day in a small yogurt cup.

When you start looking at food labels you will see just how much added sugar you are eating every single day.

11. High-fat dairy will help keep you thin

Full fat dairy is good for you

For years nutritionists and doctors have been telling you that eating fat will make you fat. It turns out that when you look at the scientific literature this doesn’t seem to be the case, especially when it comes to dairy.

Take for instance this study… (8)

Which is a meta-analysis of 16 different studies and it shows that there is an inverse relationship between eating full-fat dairy products and obesity!

Put into simple terms: those that ate low fat tended to be more obese vs those that ate high-fat dairy who tended to be thinner.

While it’s still not completely understood why full-fat products make you thinner it’s thought to be because of the beneficial compounds such as butyrate, phytanic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid.

Next time you’re at the store ditch the skim milk and go for the whole milk.

Your taste buds and your waistline will thank you.

12. Eating fat won’t make you fat

Eating fat won't make you fat

The last 50 years of nutritional science could easily be termed as the ‘great fat scare’. During this time we were constantly told that eating fat will clog your arteries can cause you to gain weight!

It turns out this couldn’t be farther from the truth…

We’ve seen in several journals, including the British Medical Journal (9) that eating saturated fats doesn’t actually increase your risk of cardiovascular disease or obesity.

We also have plenty of studies (10) that show that eating HIGH-fat diets (I’m talking up to 70% of daily calories as fat) actually help people LOSE weight, better than low-fat diets.

13. Your diet influences your sex hormones

Sex hormones and diet

Ever wonder why so many women are suffering from PCOS, infertility and estrogen dominance? Look no further than insulin resistance and high sugar diets.

Diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates increase insulin levels which directly affect estrogen and progesterone levels. These changes result in either an absolute and relative decrease in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone (in favor of too much estrogen).

Diet also impacts men in a similar way by decreasing testosterone! This is why there are so many “Low T” clinics popping up everywhere. The problem is low testosterone, it’s a bad diet.

Are you suffering from estrogen dominance or sex hormone-related problems? Take a look at 10 steps I outlined in a previous post about how to take care of endometriosis naturally.

14. You don’t need to eat every 3 hours for your metabolism

Don't eat every 3 hours

For some reason, many people believe that in order to boost your metabolism and lose weight you must eat every 2-3 hours.

Despite the fact that several studies (11) have shown this isn’t the case, it just doesn’t even make sense from a practical or evolutionary standpoint.

It’s also more important to spend more hours between meals to sensitize your body to insulin.

Don’t worry about your metabolism (12), it will be fine. Focus on eating high-quality meals when your body is hungry – NOT when a clock says you should eat.

15. Stop listening to the media about nutrition

Don't listen to the media for nutritional advice

Remember that the media is focused on getting attention. They aren’t overly concerned about science or truth.

Because of the media, it seems like every other week there is conflicting information.

Butter is good. Butter is bad. Meat causes cancer. Meat is healthy. Etc.

Most of the time the headlines from the media are gross exaggerations of small findings that are taken out of context.

Stick to scientific journals and experts in the field as your source of quality information.

16. Also… stop listening to your doctor about nutrition advice!

I hate to say it, but many doctors are behind the times when it comes to nutrition.

It turns out that doctors only get about 19 hours of nutrition education (13) during their entire training.

This is pretty sad when you consider that food is far and away the most powerful medication and that up to 40% of annual deaths from the 5 leading US causes are preventable (14).

Another concerning statistic?

The average doctor is practicing medicine 17 years behind the current scientific studies (15)!

Not all doctors are behind the times, but in the meantime, it’s better to get your dietary advice from those who are up to date on the current science.

17. Eggs (including the yolk) are healthy for you!

Eggs are healthy for you

Eggs are not tiny little cholesterol bombs that are going to clog your arteries.

Yes, they do contain cholesterol but eating eggs doesn’t increase your cholesterol in the way you think.

This study (16) showed that eating eggs increases the amount of large buoyant *healthy cholesterol particles and changed the pattern of cholesterol to one that is actually healthy for the heart.

Eggs also contain antioxidants, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent age-related macular degeneration.

Next time you’re at the store opt for cage free whole eggs, not the yolk-free substitute.

18. Stick to the outside of the grocery store to eat healthily

Stick to the outside of the grocery store

If you want to eat healthy the safest place in the grocery store is the outside perimeter.

Grocery stores are set up so the healthy foods are on the outside and the bad foods are on the inside.

When you’re shopping practice the “eye-ball test”…

That is – you should be able to eye-ball food and tell if it’s real or not. If it’s fake, then chances are high that it’s not healthy for you.

Stick to the outside of the grocery store and practice the eye-ball test next time you go shopping.

19. Fruit juices are no better than soda

Fruit juices are just as bad as soda

Unfortunately, many people believe that fruit juices are healthy for you.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, fruit juices have the same impact on your hormones, blood sugar and insulin as sugar-sweetened beverages (17).

This is primarily because fruit juices don’t have any fiber in them. When you eat a whole fruit the absorption of sugars is slowed by the fiber that acts as a glue in your intestines.

Without the glue, your body rapidly absorbs all of the sugar!

Stay away from fruit juices, especially if you have kids.

20. Sugar-sweetened beverages may be the most unhealthy food in your diet

Sugar sweetened beverages are not healthy

Added sugar in liquid form is the worst.

Sugar-sweetened beverages destroy your hormonal systems, cause changes in insulin and lead to increased levels of diabetes (18).

One of the major problems with drinking your sugar is that your brain doesn’t realize how many calories you are getting (19).

In return, it doesn’t compensate to lower the amount of food you eat. You just keep eating more and more (20).

Cut out sugar-sweetened beverages from your diet. It may be the healthiest thing you do all year.

21. You should be eating naturally fermented foods

Fermented foods are healthy

If you aren’t consuming naturally fermented foods you are missing out on a huge health benefit.

From kefir to sauerkraut – these foods are loaded with beneficial probiotics, prebiotics, and vitamins.

Take kefir for instance…

Studies (21) show that this probiotic drink contains beneficial yeasts and bacteria that help lower inflammation, fight off bad bacteria, lower blood pressure and improve immunity!

If you like taking probiotic supplements, then don’t miss out on natural probiotic foods. They are loaded with WAY more probiotics and have more diverse microbial populations.

22. Low carb diets shouldn’t be ultra high in protein

High protein meal

While low carb diets can be great for weight loss (22) (they beat out all other diets in most studies). There are some things you should know to prevent self-sabotage.

  1. Low carb means low refined carbs – It also doesn’t mean any carbs. To get the best results cut out sugar, refined grains (bagels, pizza, bread, pasta, etc.) but KEEP in carbs from vegetables and fruits like berries!
  2. Don’t replace your carbs with only protein – Cut out the bad carbs, keep the good carbs (veggies/fruits) and replace the carbs with a combination of healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, etc.) and health proteins. High amounts of protein can still stimulate insulin and prevent weight loss during low carb dieting.
  3. Don’t forget to eat vegetables! Veggies are still considered carbs but they hardly have any effect on your insulin levels because they are loaded with fiber and contain very little free sugars.
  4. Don’t severely restrict your calories – The low carb diet causes changes to your hormones (especially insulin) that result in weight loss. Severely restricting your calories can lower metabolism by up to 30% in as little as 25 days (23).

Try these tips next time you decide to hop on a low carb diet for weight loss.

23. Stop counting calories, they matter but not like you think

Stop counting calories

Everyone loves to talk about calories in and calories out.

More important than the number of calories you consume is what your body is doing with those calories.

Let me explain…

Hormones direct what your body does with calories. Are your insulin levels elevated? Then your calories will be shunted into your fat cells.

Are your estrogen levels or cortisol levels high? Then calories will be shunted to your fat cells.

Are insulin levels low? Then your calories will be shunted to your muscles and other tissues.

Also, don’t forget that eating higher amounts of protein (24) results in an automatic reduction of calories without even thinking about it.

Stop counting your calories and focus on eating real whole foods that impact your hormones.

24. Insulin resistance is linked to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer and Alzheimer’s

Many terrible diseases are associated with high insulin resistance and diabetes.

This is both good and bad.

Bad in the sense that we are doing this to ourselves, but in the sense that you can prevent these diseases!

Take for instance Alzheimer’s disease. Recent studies (25) have now linked insulin resistance in the brain with impaired memory.

The same is true for cancer, high blood pressure (26), and high cholesterol.

Moral of the story?

Start making lifestyle changes to improve your health and prevent these terrible diseases.

25. Yes, junk food is addictive

Sugar is addictive

Ever get the craving in the middle of the night for chocolate or ice cream?

You aren’t going crazy but you may have an addiction to junk food.

Not only do food addictions exist. But certain chemicals in gluten, dairy, and cheese have addictive properties.

Not only that, but the food industry has spent millions of dollars to research what foods trigger your brain to constantly snack.

These chemicals actually activate the same receptors (27) in the brain that are activated when people drink alcohol or use drugs.

It may make sense now why so many diets fail and why 100 calorie snack packs don’t work for weight loss.

It’s like giving an alcoholic 1 sip of alcohol per day and expecting them to kick their addiction.

Not only is sugar available on every corner, food addiction isn’t taken as seriously as it should be.

If you are struggling with addictive behavior towards food the best way to kick the habit is to completely eliminate the food from your diet.

26. Never trust health claims on processed foods

Dreamfields pasta fraud

The bottom line:

The food industry doesn’t have your best interests in mind.

They are looking to sell more products and make more money.

Not only that but they are GREAT at advertising and marketing.

They know just what to say to get you to buy their foods. They use low fat, low carb, nonfat, diet this and high fiber to their advantage.

If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

One of the most recent examples is the high fiber and low net carb marketing gimmick that certain brands are using.

They want you to think that by increasing fake fiber in their foods that you can eat all the carbs you want without having an impact on your blood sugar and insulin levels.

This has been shown to entirely untrue. The truth is that these foods still increase your blood sugar, mess up your hormones and increase your risk of diabetes just like regular versions of the food.

You can find more information about the Dreamfields pasta fraud here.

27. If the food you are eating was made in a factory, it’s not good for you

Many people struggle to understand what food is actually healthy for them.

I’ve already talked about the eyeball test before and how you can use that to help you find healthy foods.

Another good strategy is this: if the food was made in a factory, don’t eat it.

Eat the food that God made, not the fake foods that man made.

28. Stop focusing on glycemic index and start paying attention to glycemic load

Focus on glycemic load not glycemic index

Focusing solely on glycemic index without taking into account can be very misleading.

The glycemic index focuses on the impact that certain foods have on your blood sugar.

The glycemic load says how much of that certain food you have to eat in order to raise your blood sugar.

Let’s use an example:

Take for instance watermelon. It’s pretty high on the glycemic index (72) but its glycemic load is about 4. That means if you looked strictly at glycemic index you would assume that watermelon is bad for you.

Instead of focusing on glycemic index alone, make sure to look at the glycemic load.

29. Trans fat is poison to your body

If you haven’t already stopped eating trans fat now is the time.

Trans fat has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease (28) in several studies.

Still not sure if you are eating trans fat? Check out these foods that still contain high levels:

  1. Canned frosting
  2. Packaged pie
  3. Frozen pizza
  4. Margarine
  5. Coffee Creamer

Avoid these foods at all costs!

30. Cereal is sugar in milk, treat it like a dessert, not a breakfast meal

Stop eating cereal for breakfast

Do you know what the difference is between sugar with milk in it or cereal with milk in it?

There is no difference to your body from the neck down…

It’s time to consider cereal as a dessert and not a breakfast cereal.

If you are struggling with obesity or trying to lose weight, make sure you aren’t sabotaging your efforts by eating breakfast cereal.

It’s hard to believe because it’s such a quick and convenient food to eat. But cutting it out may be just what you need.

31. Fasting can balance hormones, help you lose weight and cure diabetes

Intermittent fasting for weight loss

Let’s tackle this one head-on.

Adding intermittent fasting to your weight loss routine just may be the best thing you can do.

Fasting used to be a normal part of life. In fact, the cycle of feast and famine was part of human life for thousands of years.

The difference between now and back then was that the feast was balanced by the famine.

Nowadays, we have nothing but feast all year round!

Studies have shown that small periods of fasting (29), as little as two times per week can help you reduce insulin levels and lose weight!

Don’t let the word fasting scare you.

You can try intermittent fasting by simply avoiding eating after 7 pm and don’t start eating until 11 am the following morning. Do this twice per week and you are set.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

32. Eating fat and protein help keep you full

Fat and protein make you full

We’ve touched on this before but it’s worth talking about again.

Not only does eating fat not make you fat, but it also keeps you full for long periods of time!

The same is true with protein.

When you increase the number of healthy fats and healthy proteins, your body automatically reduces the number of calories it wants and your blood sugar stays stable.

33. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive

This is a lie that the food industry wants you to believe.

You’re made to think that the “value menu” from Mcdonald’s is cheaper than buying your own groceries.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

If you shop wisely and use help from some of these guides you will find healthy nutritious food for a very reasonable price! Cheaper than eating out and much healthier.

Also, don’t forget that while fast food may seem cheaper right now, you will pay for it in the long term with costly medical bills 20-30 years later.

34. Cooking with spices can help you get healthier and lose more weight

Cooking with spices will help you lose weight

Not only is cooking for yourself incredibly healthy you also get the added benefit of nutritious spices!

Take turmeric for example:

This spice may just be the healthiest spice on the entire planet.

It’s been shown to reduce inflammation, kill cancer cells, prevent diabetes (30) and so much more!

This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other healthy spices.

35. Diabetes and prediabetes can be completely reversed with fasting and dietary changes

High insulin causes weight gain

Nowadays diabetes is treated as a chronic and progressive disease.

Put in simple terms:

Once you get diabetes you will have it for life and it will slowly get worse over time.

This isn’t true at all!

Diabetes can be completely reversed with dietary changes and fasting regimens.

You can read more about Dr. Fung here, who has a clinic that specializes in reversing diabetes through dietary changes.

36. Dark chocolate can be healthy for you!

Eat dark chocolate occasionally

Ok, ok, so maybe you already knew about this one. But it’s worth mentioning again.

Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols that can help fight inflammation and obesity.

The catch?

You need to eat 70% dark chocolate or higher to get the most benefits.

AND, you shouldn’t have more than 1-2 ounces per day.

But still… it’s chocolate.

37. Eat less + exercise more = 99.9% failure rate

Even if you haven’t read the study (31) you probably know from personal experience that the mantra of eat less and exercise more just doesn’t work.

How do you know?

Because we’ve all tried it at one point or another.

The truth is this:

if you approach weight loss from the standpoint that calories are all that matters, you will fail 99% of the time.

If you want to attack weight loss head on, then you need to keep real whole foods center stage with the goal to balance your insulin and other hormones.

38. Yo-yo dieting can lower your metabolism by up to 20% for years

Nutrition facts that need to be common sense

Not only does calorie restriction not result in weight loss, but it can also wreck your metabolism.

Studies have shown that chronic yo-yo dieting can lower your metabolism by up to 20% for years to come.

Don’t fall into this weight loss trap.

References:

#1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22314561

#2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963190/

#3. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=205916

#4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16391215

#5. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=202339

#6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684076/

#7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720529/

#8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22810464?dopt=AbstractPlus

#9. http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6340

#10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC538279/

#11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9155494

#12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19943985

#13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20736683

#14. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0501-preventable-deaths.html

#15. http://jrs.sagepub.com/content/104/12/510.full

#16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16340654?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

#17. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(14)70013-0/fulltext

#18. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/11/2477.full

#19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10878689

#20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829363/

#21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3833126/

#22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5672079/

#23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7076517

#24. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.abstract

#25. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.abstract

#26. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/41.abstract

#27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851032/

#28. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/115/14/1858

#29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4257368/

#30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4257368/

#31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26180980

Dr. Westin Childs

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders.He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances.You can read more about his own personal journey here.

10 thoughts on “38 Nutrition Facts That Need to be Common Sense [But Aren’t]”

    • Hi Hilde, Sure, some people cnaont do vigorous exercise due to their health. When I was healing my adrenals, I could hardly exercise. 15 mins of gentle aerobics was my limit. I would also walk, hike and do gentle yoga or pilates. As my health was restoring, I was able to start doing more and eventually get a level where daily vigorous exercise is something that I do 5-6 days a week. What is important is to start doing what you can and then gradually start increasing the level of activity, if your health allows you to. If not, then focusing on maintaining what you can do. Fruitful wishes,Yulia.

      • Great points, Alisha.

        Exercise should be tailored to the individual, I don’t recommend intense exercising if you have untreated adrenal issues or thyroid issues.

  1. “Diabetes can be completely reverse [sic] with dietary changes and fasting regimens.” Care to back that up? Perhaps you want to cite a peer reviewed journal for me, because you can lose your medical license (assuming you’re a real doctor to begin with) over claims like that.

    • Hey Josh,

      Thanks for bringing the spelling error to my attention! And I’d be happy to elaborate on the subject of reversing diabetes. I have a couple of comments (though this topic deserves its own in depth blog post).

      First you can see some data here, just to prove that it is indeed reversible and many people in the general population are doing it: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23320491

      I’m hardly the first to suggest that it’s possible and I’m certainly not the only physician practicing reversal in my clinic. As I mentioned in my post you can see more work by Dr. Fung (his practice is focused solely on reversing diabetes) here: https://intensivedietarymanagement.com/reverse-diabetes-naturally/

      You can also find more info from David Ludwig (Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School) who has shown that reversing diabetes can occur very rapidly when instituting a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic diet). More info here: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2015/12/16/dr-david-ludwig-clears-up-carbohydrate-confusion/

      You can also find plenty of studies showing that bariatric surgery causes rapid reversal of type 2 diabetes, in as little as 12 weeks, and it occurs long before and significant weight loss is achieved.

      In order for this to make sense you have to understand that diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance which then causes elevated blood sugar. If your goal of treatment is to lower blood sugar then you will never actually treat the underlying problem (insulin resistance). This has been a point of confusion for many Doctors because long term studies show that forcing blood sugar down with insulin actually causes an increase risk in cardiovascular disease. As a result most doctors attempt to keep their patients in the hgb A1c range of 7ish because they know that forcing down the blood sugar will only cause death by myocardial infarction that much sooner.

      The current paradigm of treatment is centered around bringing down blood sugar (by increasing insulin) which will actually make the disease of diabetes worse. If you change the treatment to focus on reversing insulin resistance, you will see blood sugar drop quickly – again usually within 2-3 months, at least in my clinic. There are only a handful of drugs that do reduce insulin resistance (metformin, SGLT-2 inhibitors and acarbose come to mind immediately), the rest increase insulin through other mechanisms and don’t show any long term benefit in reducing mortality.

      You will likely not find many studies proving that fasting or dietary management (low carbohydrate diet) is superior to drugs, because they will never be funded by the pharmaceutical industry 🙂

      Anyway, this is really just a starting place but I hope it helps. If you personally have diabetes or someone you love does I can certainly point you to other resources as well.

  2. At number 19 you start making mistakes. As someone who experienced and beat chronic insulin issues since childhood through extensive research and extreme limiting of processed sugars, I can comfortably say that your claim about fruit juices is incorrect (as long as there’s no added sugars).

    • Hey Shikoho,

      I appreciate your response and insight, it sounds like you’ve had quite the journey. In regards to fruit juices I do think that you are correct that the story is more complex than can be stated in one paragraph. I have a couple of thoughts:

      1. Each person tolerates fructose (and carbs in general) differently, what is tolerated by me may not be tolerating by you, etc. Having said that, we have an epidemic of insulin resistance and MANY people that I see have problems tolerating and metabolizing fructose. Most people reading this blog post will fall into this category. But you are right in your assessment that it is not 100% and there are people out there who can safely tolerate fruit juices without huge spikes in insulin levels.

      2. Another important point with fruit juices is that the majority have ADDED processed sugars to them that make their effect on the body even worse. There are some safe juices that are better than others, but in general, and in those who are suffering from insulin resistance, I find it a better recommendation to avoid all juices until the insulin resistance has resolved. At that point, reintroduction can be attempted as tolerated.

      Again, thanks for your comments!

      Dr. Childs

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