9 biggest lies mainstream media tells about nutrition

Pinocchio.0When it comes to nutrition, I believe our mainstream media to be infested with a lot of corruption and misinformation.

New research is coming out all the time that overturns much of what we “knew” in the past, but many nutritionists and dieticians are wedded to the old information they learned 10-20 years ago

In this article, I’ve listed the worst examples, but unfortunately there is plenty more where that came from.

Here are the 9 biggest lies of modern nutrition.

1. Saturated Fat is Bad For Your Heart

Coconut1Probably the most damaging mistake of all is the claim that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease.

This myth was based on political decisions and bogus studies that were discredited a long time ago. Yet, our beloved professionals refuse to admit that “artery-clogging-saturated-fat” is harmless.

Yes, it does raise LDL cholesterol, but it is a benign subtype of LDL (large, fluffy type). It also happens to raise HDL, which has a protective effect (1, 2, 3).

Eating saturated fat raise doesn’t have any effect on heart disease (4, 5).

Conclusion: Saturated Fats do not raise the bad cholesterol levels, and are not bad for your heart health

2. Reducing Sodium is Good For Your Body

less-salt-mainOur beloved authorities on nutrition and health generally tell us that it will lower blood pressure and health to reduce sodium in the diet.

In fact, many authorities recommend amounts as low as 1500-2300mg of sodium (6).

As outlined in this article, diets that are too low in sodium may actually lead to serious health consequences and higher mortality (7, 8, 9, 10).

Recent studies show it is the imbalance between Sodium and Potassium that increases hypertension, not the total Sodium intake itself (11,12).

The recommendation for healthy people to limit salt intake is unnecessary and may be harmful in some cases(13).

Conclusion: For healthy individuals that do not already have hypertension, adding some salt to your meals to make them palatable is absolutely fine.

3. Eggs Are Bad For You

eggs good or badEggs are, in my opinion, one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

They have been demonized in the past due to their high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. But, as outlined above, saturated fat does not increase chances of heart disease.

Additionally, dietary cholesterol doesn’t really raise blood cholesterol and there have been many studies on egg consumption that fail to show an association with cardiovascular disease (14, 15, 16).

The fact is that eggs are incredibly nutritious. The yolk is very high in healthy fats, quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and the egg white is a great source of protein.

Conclusion: Eggs are also very satiating and should be considered an awesome weight loss food (17).

4. Sugar is Bad For You Because it’s Empty Calories

Blog_why-sugar-bad-for-us-Conventional wisdom would have you believe that the only reason sugar is unhealthy is that it’s “empty calories”, providing a lot of calories without any essential nutrients.

Sugar does provide empty calories, but excess sugar (sucrose and fructose) consumption can also lead to many symptoms of the metabolic syndrome (the biggest health problem in the world).

Many people believe fructose is better for you since it is found in fruit and therefore more “natural”. Not True!

In many ways, fructose is worse for you than table surgar. It is quite literally toxic for your liver (18, 19, 20).

The major problems caused by sugar are prevalent during periods of caloric excess, but that is the norm for most western diets.

Conclusion: Both Sucrose and fructose are terrible for your health for many reasons – not because they are “empty calories”

5. Polyunsaturated Omega-6 Fats Will Improve Your Health

omega-3-omega-6-ratio1It is generally accepted in the science community that polyunsaturated fats do improve health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease (21).

However, the situation is more complicated than that. There are two different types of polyunsaturated fats that we need to get from the diet, Omega-6 fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids.

As you’ve probably heard a million times, Omega-3 fats such as those you get from Salmon and other fish are very good for you. (22).

However, excess consumption of Omega-6 found in most of our cooking oils is most likely harmful and may lead to increased inflammation in the body (23).

Overall, the “War on Fat” over the last 30 years has lead to a decrease in the percentage of fats in our diets, yet we have seen a huge increase in Obesity.

Dietary changes like less fatty meats has also resulted in a change in the ration of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats, from 1:1, to nearly 20:1 now.

This imbalance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is part of the problem, that can be corrected with intake of more Omega 3 – NOT Omega 6 fats. (24).

Conclusion: Most people today get far too much Omega 6 fats, and not enough Omega 3 fats.

6. Carbs Should Be 50-60% of Your Calories

carb protien fat - old ratiosGovernments all around the world recommend we eat a low-fat diet with 50-60% (give or take) of our calories as carbohydrates.

The fact is that this macronutrient ratio is wrong and should actually be the exact opposite.

Over the last 10 years or so, many of the most popular diets such as Paleo, Nordic, LCHF (Low Carb,High Fat), Ketogenic are based on much lower carb amounts than the government recommended low-fat diet.

Numerous studies show they lead to improvements in body fat, blood sugar, insulin levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides. (25, 26, 27, 28).

Conclusion: For Overall health benefits AND weight loss, 50% of calories from carbohydrates is way too high

7. Low-Fat Foods Are A Healthy Choice

Hawksby-Dickens_low-fat-food1Following the war on fat came a massive range of low-fat food options.

We’ve already covered, the war on fat was unfounded and therefore low-fat foods are useless to improve health.

The fact is that these foods taste like garbage without fat, so food manufacturers need to replace the fat with sugar, artificial sweeteners and other unnatural chemicals.

The added sugar can lead to disease, as outlined above.

The artificial sweeteners are also associated with many serious diseases in epidemiological studies, including (ironically) weight gain (29, 30, 31).

To make matters worse, research proves that people tend to eat more calories overall with low fat foods vs low carb foods, due to the satiety effect of fats and because they are labeled “low fat” so they perceive them as healthier. (32).

Conclusion: Many people consume a lot more calories with low fat foods, and those calories tend to be sugar, which is far worse for health than fats

8. Everyone Should Eat Whole Grains

WholeGrains_EmbeddedFor some reason, nutrition authorities think it’s a good idea to base our diet around foods that are low in vital nutrients.

Cereal grains have a vastly inferior nutritional value compared to meat, eggs, seafood, fruits and vegetables, so we end up with less vitamins and minerals in our diet.(33).

Also, many of the commonly consumed grains (wheat, spelt, rye, barley) contain gluten, which can lead to a variety of health problems for some people(34, 35, 36).

Even those grains that are gluten free are still a problem as nearly still contain a host of antinutrients like lectins, saponins, and phytic acid.

supergrainsSo, grains aren’t just low in nutrients, they actually have substances that steal nutrients from other foods.

Note that we are talking here about the more common grains like wheat,rice, oats, rye, and barley.

There are much more healthy choices for grains like Quinoa, Amaranth, farro, spelt, chia, freekah and teff.

Those so called “Supergrains” are much higher in protein and nutrients. A case can be made for including those in your diet.

Conclusion: Most commonly consumed whole grains have very high carbohydrate counts, and little nutritional value.

9. Eating Fat Makes You Fat

fattttyIt seems intuitive that eating fat will make you fat.

The stuff that is building up below the skin and making us look soft, is fat. Therefore, eating it should give your body even more of it.

But it really isn’t that simple. Fat, despite having a higher caloric value per gram than carbohydrate and protein (9kcal vs. 4kcal), eating a high-fat diet doesn’t lead to weight gain in humans.

Of course, this depends on the context. A diet that is high in sugar, refined grains, processed foods and fat will be fattening, but it’s not because of the fat itself.

In fact, diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat lead to more weight loss than diets that are low in fat (37, 38, 39).

Final thoughts

You’ve probably noticed a common theme about the Top Lies told by nutritionists – many still believe the old model of 60% carbs and low fat.

That bs is responsible for a lot of the obesity problem in the US today.

Nowadays, the most popular diets are low carb now for a reason – they work.

The truth is, you should eat all the Omega 3 fats you can, plenty of protein and very little carbs.  No pasta, bread, rice, or sugar.

We prefer going a step further than low carb, and strongly believe a ketogenic diet is easiest to maintain, better for your blood glucose, triglycerides, and many other health markers.

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Other Topics you might be interested in:

    • Probiotics are all the rage now for a cornucopia of health issues, and are now being used for weight loss also.
    • Want to know if Garcinia Cambogia is still the biggest diet pill fad in 2016?
    • Just because it is “natural” doesn’t mean that Lipodrene is mild – in fact, the manufacturers push the edge of what the FDA will allow.
    • For those concerned about slowing the aging process and maintaining as much physical health as possible, Niagen is a great product to check out.



Raj says:
June 12, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Anna, check this out..check the citation as well!!

sue says:
June 13, 2012 at 2:29 AM

Is this Anna from Ashland and her Raj?

Graham Lutz says:
June 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

#8 has been the hardest to convince people of, but I always say that there is nothing good in grains that you cannot get elsewhere at a lower cost (in terms of calories, and anti-nutrients).
fredt says:
June 12, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Saturated fat as trans fat, hydrogenated, is bad. It should be specifically separated and avoided as sugars, fructose, grains.

Dr, Motley says:
June 12, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Of course but there both completely different. All trans fats are bad.
Steve Wang says:
June 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Trans fats have a double bond somewhere with the carbon chains ‘trans’ to each other. A saturated fat does not contain double bonds – they are ‘saturated’ with hydrogens. Thus, as Dr. Motley has said already, saturated fats and trans fats are in fact different.

Carlos says:
June 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Kris, I found a lot of your material repeated in this article in the Guardian (UK) today – http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jun/11/why-our-food-is-making-us-fat

Seems like you’re starting to make a difference!

All the best.

Graham Lutz says:
June 12, 2012 at 2:48 PM

People might finally being realizing that we’ve all been eating low-fat for 30 years, getting fatter and fatter all the time!
Kristjan says:
June 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM

That is a great article, thanks for sharing.

I’m afraid I’m nothing but a very small pawn in a very large game. I’m doing my best though 🙂

Eva LaRoche says:
June 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

#10 Soy Is Good For Everything

Graham Lutz says:
June 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM

10. Eat Less, Exercise More

Calories in/calories out is one of the biggest myths in all of nutrition, if you ask me. The more time I spend studying this stuff the more it becomes clear that calories are only important secondarily to the macronutrient profile of the diet.

Stuart Phillips says:
June 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

You mean the first law of thermodynamics is a myth… wow? A calorie is a calorie, can’t refute that Graham. What that calorie does in your body may be important, but it’s still a calorie!
Graham Lutz says:
June 13, 2012 at 12:02 AM

Oh, I’m not saying that the law of thermodynamics is a myth – I’m saying that there are more ways to use those calories other than storing them as fat or burning them on a treadmill.

The macronutrient profile of your diet (and to a smaller extent, the micronutrient profile) dictates how those calories are used in your body.
Bryan says:
June 13, 2012 at 4:52 PM

True – the calorie profile will dictate how it’s used. But the bottom line is still a calories in / calories out. Every one of those little rascals can be used for energy. And if you’re in a calorie deficit, it WILL be used for energy.

Calorie deficit = weight loss. If you (or anyone) disagree with that, I urge you to prove it wrong. Eliminate ANY macro, food group, food type, change your meal timing, eliminate breakfast, eat breakfast, etc. Whatever you can come up with. Do that protocol for 2 weeks making certain you are taking in more calories than you are burning and let us know the results. Follow that with 2 weeks of calorie restriction of any type and report those results.

Any takers?

I’m not trying to hijack this post or argue any of Kris’ recommendations on nutrition. Kris is doing a great service here. I’m only pointing out that regardless of the method you choose for weight/fat loss, the first rule IS going to be calorie restriction. There’s just no other way.
Graham Lutz says:
June 13, 2012 at 9:40 PM

No one is arguing that you don’t have to have a calorie deficit. But that’s like saying you have to lose weight in order to lose weight. It’s a foregone conclusion.

If the goal is a lower number on the scale, sure, restrict calories and the number will go down – with up to 40% of that being lean muscle.

Focusing on the number of calories you eat is the worst way to lose weight. There are hormonal mechanisms in place to deal with fluctuations in caloric intake that have evolved in us over millions of years. If you know the science, and base your diet on it, you can eat as many calories as you want, and your body composition will continue to improve.
Eugenia says:
June 14, 2012 at 12:39 AM

I do hard-core Paleo/Primal and I also did a Paleo-keto diet (including all the superfoods like bone broths, offal, sea veggies, kefir, fermented foods, coconut oil etc), and if I hadn’t restrict calories below 1100 (I’m small framed), I wouldn’t lose any weight. My blood test didn’t show any thyroid problems btw, so I don’t know how all these people lost weight on Paleo or keto, because I can’t. In fact, I’ve seen many stories like mine from FEMALES. Males seem to be losing weight the way you and the Paleo doctrine is proposing. But for many women that I’ve read online, they had to restrict calories. There’s something at play here. BTW, 9 months later, I’m still borderline obese. I still do low-carb Paleo with enough fat, bouncing in the range of 1500-2200 calories per day (and without cheating, since I’m grain-intolerant), and I haven’t lost a single pound since March (which was the last time I heavily restricted my calories). Explain that…
Graham Lutz says:
June 14, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I can’t explain this with 100 words worth of information. Your thyroid is not the only thing involved, and the whole thing is extremely complicated.

If you restricted calories to 1100 and it was carbs and sugar, you would lose less weight and it would be more muscle lost and less fat. My point remains that the number of calories consumed is only important in the context of the macronutrient profile of the diet.

Without a lot of time and tests, it would be very hard to tell exactly what is going on in your specific case.
Snicci says:
June 15, 2012 at 10:13 PM

You said you haven’t lost any weight on the scale, but has your body comp changed? Are you “firmer”? Just wondering… sometimes the scale doesn’t tell the whole tale.
Erin says:
June 19, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Eugenia, I agree! Women are different! Hormones and leptin (the master hormone) resistance play a huge role in weight gain/loss, es. for women. Leptin signals your cells to release fatty acids to be burned for fuel and if your cells are ignoring it (i.e. resistant), your weight loss won’t be proportionate to the amount of work you put into it.

Re: thyroid – tests are usually not interpreted by the newer (and narrower) functional medicine ranges, so just because your tests were “normal” doesn’t necessarily mean there isn’t a problem. I was told I was “normal” for a decade before finally being diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease. Standard thyroid panels don’t usually include TPO antibodies, and often even Free T3, so a lot of thyroid disease gets missed.
Chris Kresser has some great articles on thyroid issues and http://www.thyroidbook.com has a good practitioner directory of people who know what they’re doing when it comes to endocrine health.
wsmith says:
June 14, 2012 at 12:37 AM

That might be true if there was no output from the system. Me, I like to poop, pee and sweat once in awhile.
Eugenia says:
June 14, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Given that I had IBS-D for years, the poop still comes out daily (albeit healthy now). And ketosis has been diuretic. I occasionally go run too (although others haven’t lift a finger and lost weight). So these three factors don’t apply to me. I still have to restrict calories to lose weight (more info on my diet on my comment above).

Ken Kinstle says:
June 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Hey Kris great post and I will be sharing this with my networks. So many things that we learn new about health and nutrition. Those old false ideas die hard.. Thanks
Kristjan’s Friend says:
June 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM

My head is spinning a bit. Maybe you’ve covered this really quickly, or my sugar level is a bit Low. Anyway, Kristjan, Am I following you if I plan to avoid the center aisles of the grocery store, and Cook food for myself?

I might have my feet steady on the path already.

Graham Lutz says:
June 13, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Definitely shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store – I call it “the other gluten free section!”
Kristen says:
June 13, 2012 at 3:08 AM

So true. And it’s not just the “other” GF section – its the GF nutrition source 🙂

Vix- Miss Fitness Life says:
June 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Great post Kris!

The terrible effect that sugar and artificial sweetners have on cravings make points 4 and 7 even stronger!
Abby de Beer says:
June 13, 2012 at 2:59 AM

Great article 🙂
Kristen says:
June 13, 2012 at 3:07 AM

Thank you! I teach this daily and of course right now I can’t add to your list of 9 (c’est la vie) but I hope the whole world has read this list of 9 and acted positively on the information.
K 😀
LowCarbFlix says:
June 13, 2012 at 8:13 PM

10. Eating all that bacon will clog your arteries with cholesterol. If only I had a dollar every time I heard or read that one. It’s a completely failed logic used by people who don’t realize that body cholesterol is produced by the liver. Vegetarians’ livers produce cholesterol as well. It’s the most essential macronutrient without which people get sick and die.

wsmith says:
June 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Forget the dollar. If I had a pack of bacon every time I heard or read that one.

Ross says:
June 14, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Thank you for this article. Very well sourced and written.

The only thing I would question is the studies involving artificial sweeteners. Some context is needed there I believe. Most people who consume “diet” products are already fat themselves or think that drinking a diet soda allows them to consume more food because it doesn’t “count” for anything.

Diane Smith says:
July 10, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I had to quit diet sodas and other stuff with artificial sweeteners in as they were stalling my weight loss and giving me terrible cravings for sweet foods and I got back all my high insulin symptoms – shakes, trembling, acne, gum infections……

Now I don’t touch anything with artificial sweeteners in.

David Samuel says:
June 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Hi Kris, after followed your tips on from your articles, I am happy that I lost 20 kg within 4 months plus. Thanks a lot Kris, may God bless you.

Kristjan says:
June 15, 2012 at 1:48 PM

That is awesome! Congratulations!!

Cavechic says:
June 16, 2012 at 1:49 PM

‘You are sick because you are fat.’ No! You are fat because you are sick. Looking at this different than what we have been told gives us a better starting point for better health.
raul rodriguez says:
June 18, 2012 at 4:58 AM

Takk Kristjan, I remember when I introduced Iceland to these principles in 1993, and Icelanders thought I was nuts! It’s great to see that Iceland has come a long way:) With education we avoid medication. Treat the deficiency, not the disease.

Thanks again for sharing,
Coach Raul Rodriguez & Jorie McDonald
Mike says:
June 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

You’ve blown every point out of proportion by talking about the extremes. Everything should be taken in moderation and not consumed in excessive/minimal portions. The “authorities” are not telling you to avoid eating salt, fat & sugar altogether as you have alluded to, they’re telling you to avoid eating them from processed foods seeing as people rarely read nutrition labels. You should have taken a less sensationalistic angle for convincing people to eat healthily.
Shannon Anderson says:
June 19, 2012 at 7:59 AM

The authorities are not telling us to avoid salt and fat altogether? LOL, 90% of doctors will tell you to avoid fat and salt all together, because this is what they’ve been told, they’re considered authorities. They AREN’T telling us to stop eating sugar, simply because if they did the mass industry of low fat foods would crash. I 100% agree with everything written in this article. I’ve been sugar free and following these principles for almost a year and i just fell of the wagon last week, now i feel soo unhealthy. But this is just what i needed to get back to it! Thank you!
Nadine says:
June 19, 2012 at 9:12 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with Graham, it’s about hormonal responses not calorie counting. Eugenia, you may like to have a look at the “Metabolic Effect” site, they also have a fb page that is very informative. I think their protocols may help you. The premise is that there is no “once size fits all” solution. By experimenting with individual hormonal responses to foods, one can effectively tailor their diet to create weight loss.
Greg says:
June 19, 2012 at 10:23 AM

10. Everyone should drink 8 glasses of water every day. This is such rubbish. How much water you need depends on your diet, what you drink, the temperature, your size, your gender, your activity level etc. There is no hard and fast rule for how much to drink. IT DEPENDS!
Debra says:
June 19, 2012 at 7:10 PM

#10 – You should get your serum cholesterol down as low as possible and statins are good way to do this.

Poppycock! I spend a lot of time with my clients explaining the real meaning of “healthy cholesterol levels”.
Nick Warhead says:
June 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM

They are not saying how this ties in for people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Diabetes.
Nikki Lee says:
June 20, 2012 at 2:02 AM

#10. Formula is just as nutritious as human milk.

This myth is advertised by industry all over the world, encouraging mothers to throw good food away and give their babies an inferior substitute. Non-human milks trigger diabetes and play a role in the obesity epidemic. Non-human milk increase the chances of: cancer, immune system disorders, and gut disease; contain MSG, phytoestrogens, genetically-modified corn and soy, aluminum, and sodium perchlorate. None of those things have to be listed on the label.
Amy says:
June 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Great article, simple and powerful! Will definitely share!
Kevin says:
July 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM

In general, I agree with low carb diet. However, I have some concern about overeating too much meat/egg (yolk) will lead to your pH level to be too acidic which is a magnetic for all types of diseases. Can you help comment on this?

Kristjan says:
July 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM

That’s a myth that makes no sense.

Diane Smith says:
July 26, 2012 at 7:02 AM

I thought it was eating too much carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar that causes blood to become acidic?

Kristjan says:
July 26, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I don’t think foods affect blood acidity at all, correct me if I’m wrong.

It would take a lot of stress to change the pH level even a little bit, since the body has powerful buffering mechanisms to maintain the level in a very narrow range.

Diane Smith says:
July 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Hi Kristan – here’s a link that explains a bit about the body’s ph balance:

Kristjan says:
July 26, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Naturalnews.com isn’t a very reliable source. If you look at the bottom, the references for the article are both sales pages for supplements.

I honestly haven’t done much research on the acid/alkaline type of diet, but what I’ve learned in physiology at school is that the body maintains the blood pH value at a very narrow range.

Diane Smith says:
July 26, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Thanks for having a look Kristjan – naturalnews.com was just the first link I could find on the subject.

I have read about it in other places too. What I understand from what I have read is that yes your body does keep the the blood pH value at a very narrow range but if you eat a lot of foods that are acidic then your body will take minerals such as calcium from bones and teeth to restore the alkaline balance and over time this has a detrimental effect on health. The main culprit for creating an acid balance in the body is sugar and foods that break down into sugar – i.e. starches.

I am sure you can find reliable info on this if you do some searching. I may be wrong but I think that quite a lot of the Paleo people are aware of this and the importance of maintaining an alkaline balance in the diet.
JL says:
August 31, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Referring to your number 2 reducing sodium is good for your body.
I believe this statement to be true actually. For those living in Western society reducing the amount of excess salt in our diet is good for our health.
You state “diets too low in sodium may lead to serious health consequences”. Your reference hyperlink “this article” goes to Chris Kresser’s website who has referenced mostly epidemiological studies (and you know those studies prove NOTHING they must be clinical randomised controlled trials to draw an absolute conclusion – you even said that on another of your posts), a cochrane review which finds no link to “serious health issues” as you have put it, and controlled trial that concludes “Low-salt diet is associated with an increase in IR. The impact of our findings on the pathogenesis of diabetes and cardiovascular disease needs further investigation”- ie INCONCLUSIVE.
But in one way you are right that diets too low in sodium can lead to serious health consequences . If we restrict sodium to extremes, we would get really sick, in fact we would be dead (a serious health consequence). Because in western society the only way to eat too little sodium would be to starve/ to eat nothing.
I do agree with your comment that we need to decrease consumption of processed foods. 77% of sodium in your diet comes from processed foods. Basically majority of food in packaging has sodium added to preserve the product. This is how we manage to eat so much salt. Added salt while eating makes up only 6% of our salt intake.
So who is going to choose the low-sodium products instead?
Diane Smith says:
August 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM

If you are eating a low carb, paleo type diet that doesn’t include processed foods then it is quite easy to end up taking too little salt.

I know because it happened to me. The symptoms are fatigue, weakness, feeling faint and dizzy and mental confusion. Low carb also causes your body to excrete salt whereas the standard western diet causes the body to retain salt.

So, if you are low carbing and avoiding processed foods you will most likely need to add salt to your food. On the other hand if you are eating the standard American diet of processed foods that have salt in them then you do have to try to lower your salt intake as it is very easy to end up taking too much.

JL says:
September 1, 2012 at 12:36 AM

I agree that it is generally unnecessary to restrict added salt on meals if you are on a paleo diet. I am talking about the general population though.
Also the paleo diet is the diet of our ancestors. They did not add table salt and thrived.

Diane Smith says:
September 1, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Here is a reference to salt and the paleo diet. It is not the only reference I have come across, I have read similar from many different sources. It seems that our ancestors did indeed add salt to their diet and understood it’s importance.

‘the evidence is that the people of the Lenggong Valley in Malaysia were not only eating salt 200,000 years ago, but had created tools for grinding it. And animals will eat/lick salt whenever they find it. Virtually all animals consume it.’

JL says:
September 16, 2012 at 1:55 AM

Added salt in the diet was/is for taste and to preserve the food for longer, not sustenance.
There was adequate amounts of sodium naturally in the cells of the animals and plants they consumed.
Diane Smith says:
September 16, 2012 at 6:19 AM

Ok, they didn’t have TV dinners and didn’t and add salt from a salt shaker but ancient peoples did understand the need for salt and went to great lengths to ensure they had adequate amounts in their diet.

This is taken from the book ‘The Art & Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by by Phd Stephen D. Phinney MD and Rd Jeff S. Volek – ‘Whole books have been written about the history of salt. Wars were fought over access to salt. Roman soldiers were often paid with a measure of salt, hence the origin of the English word ‘salary’. Hunters and their prey, herders and their cattle, all shaped their actions and habits around access to salt. The reason, of course, is that salt (sodium) is necessary for life.
Humans did not need to know chemistry to understand the value of salt. Salt deprivation leads to lightheadedness, fatigue, headache, and malaise. Aboriginal cultures could figure out that if they drank from one spring, they began to feel lousy, but if they drank from that other one, they’d feel OK. The Inuit knew which ice to melt for water to boil their meat. Sea ice loses its salt content with age. Fresh ice had too much salt, fresh snow had none, whereas older sea ice was just right. Inland hunters followed their prey to salt licks and salt springs. These waters were prized forcooking, and some cultures learned to dry these waters to make dry salt. But the universal dependable source of salt for inland hunters and herders alike was blood. Blood was collected from freshly killed animals using the emptied stomach as a container, whether from a bison on the Great Plains or from caribou or muskox on the tundra. A liter of whole blood contains about 2 grams of sodium, so 500 ml per day would ward off acute symptoms of salt depletion. Among the Masai living in hot inland Kenya, the consumption of blood was a staple of their culture (along with meat and milk). Even in the 1920’s, long after British trade had provided them access to dry salt, the Masai still bled their cattle to provide each hunter with a token 50 ml of blood per day[6]. Given another century of perspective, perhaps the perjorative phrase misrepresenting many aboriginal cultures as ‘bloodthirsty savages’ might better be replaced by the phrase ‘bloodthirsty savants’.’

Suzanne Perry says:
September 15, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Best resource for me: Gary Taubes books. Why We Get Fat is the most accessible to the layperson. Not a diet book, but a history of how we got to this current obesity epidemic. It names the perpetrators of the bogus fat-heart disease link. The big watershed moment for me was the Stanford A-Z study in 2007 which showed the low carb diet to be the most effective in reducing weight, cholesterol and a couple of other markers. The Stanford scientist who announced the results had been a vegetarian for more than 20 years, he said that it pained him greatly to report the results.
Yet 5 years later, I have not spoken to a Health professional who understands these facts. All their training weighs against the truth. Fat is BAD. Nothing will change their mind.
JL says:
September 16, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Why does everyone feel there has to be a ‘one size fits all solution’?
We are all different, no two people are the same (including identical twins to an extent).
Some people will benefit from a low carb diet to lose weight. Some won’t. Some will benefit from a low fat diet. Some won’t. You can’t just state that a low carb diet is the most effective way to lose weight for everyone and group everyone together. That is naive.
A lot of it depends on your genetic make-up, an emerging health area we are just starting to uncover now – nutrigenetics.

Diane Smith says:
November 3, 2012 at 8:41 AM

I agree that everyone is different but everyone also has a lot of similarities – we are all human and we all are the result of millions of years of evolution. None of us evolved to eat masses of refined sugar, wheat flour, processed foods and additives. The conventional dietary advice we get these days to eat low fat and lots of starchy carbohydrates has failed the majority of the population. Healthy fats are important for many functions of the body and cutting them out of your diet is not good for anyone. Some people can manage to eat more carbs and not have problems but many, many more are suffering from metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and obesity because of the high amount of sugars and starches in their diet.

Henny says:
November 3, 2012 at 2:22 AM

10) Artificial Sweeteners Are Preferable to Sugar

Aspartame, Splenda and the rest….poison. I will never consume these again.
(And obese people who drink diet soda, stay obese….)


The Super Fiber For Weight Loss is Konjac Root (Glucomannan)

glucomannan1Most of the weight loss supplements we review work for a small percentage of the people that use them.

But the one I am going to talk about today really stands out for the wide range of people it helps.

It is called Glucomannan, or Konjac Root, and is a type of soluble fiber.

What is Glucomannan?

40% of the the elephant yam (Konjac Root) is Glucomannan.

In southeast Asia it has been used for centuries in herbal mixtures and traditional foods like tofu and konjac jelly.

ShiratakiIt is also the only ingredient in shirataki noodles, which accounts for the numerous health benefits ascribed to this japanese favorite (1).

Besides being used as a supplement for diet, It is used in production of foods as a thickener or emulsifier (2).

Glucomannan is one of the most absorbant dietary fibers and will aborb 50 times its weight in water.

If you open a single capsule of glucomannan into a large glass of water, it will turn into a mass of gel.

This incredible viscosity and absorption capacity is key in its ability to promote health and weight loss (3).

Bottom line: Glucomannan is a water soluble fiber with unequaled absorption capacity. It is rapidly becoming a key addition to many weight-loss products.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble-fiber-foodsGlucomannan is a soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is not digestible by our bodies, but do get digested by the “good” bacteria (Probiotics) in our guts (4).

In the stomach and intestine, it absorbs water, kind of like a sponge, and gives you a feeling of fullness (5).

It also slows absorption of other nutrients, reducing the rapid spike in blood sugar that tends to happen after (carb-heavy) meals (6).

The combined effect of increased fullness and slowed absorption of nutrients helps decrease appetite level and cause an automatic reduction in food intake (7,8).

How-to-Feed-Your-MicrobiomeAfter the stomach, soluble fibers travel to the large intestine, where they becomes food for the healthy bacteria.

The healthy bacteria break it down, use it for fuel and turn some of it into short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which  prevents fat gain in animal studies (910).

Although the mechanisms aren’t entirely understood yet, feeding the friendly bacteria (prebiotics)  has been shown to aid in weight loss (1112).

As with other Soluble fibers, Glucomannan has the following benefits for weight loss:

  • Very low calories
  • It promotes a feeling of fullness (satiety), so you eat less (13).
  • Reduces the amount of fat and proteins absorbed  (14).

Conclusion:  Glucomannan aborbs 50x its weight in water to form a gel which promotes fullness.  Your body cant digest it, but the “good” bacteria in your gut do

An Excellent Prebiotic

lactobacillus-feed-meIn addition to the effect Glucomannan has for weight loss and health by itself, it is also an excellent Prebiotic(15).

Prebiotics are foods that our bodies cannot digest by themselves, but are digestible by the beneficial bacteria (Probiotics) in our guts and serve as a food source to stimulate their growth (16).

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in our guts that strengthen our immune systems and improve many aspects of our health (17).

Not only do Probiotics have a huge impact on our overall health, research is showing the improvement in our gut health can result in significant weight loss (18,19,20,21).

In particular, researchers are focusing on Lactobacillus Gasseri as the Probiotic that has the most impact on weight loss (22232425 ,26).

Soluble fibers have weight loss benefits by themselves, and are doubly effective to combine them with a weight loss specific Probiotic like Lactobacillus Gasseri.

Conclusion: Soluble Fibers such as Glucomannan serve as food sources (Prebiotics), for Probiotics such as Lactobacillus Gasseri. Depending on the individual, taking Glucomannan with Lactobacillus may increase its effectiveness.

Research on Weight Loss

glucomanna-graphA study was performed in 20 obese individuals. They were instructed to take either a glucomannan supplement or placebo (27).

The glucomannan group took 1g of glucomannan, three times per day, 1 hour before each meal.

They lost 5.5lbs (2,5kg) in a period of 8 weeks.

Another study with 200 overweight or obese individuals found that glucomannan led to weight loss of 12 pounds (4,5kg) in a period of 16 weeks (28).

I should also point out that both groups drastically reduced their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and their triglycerides.

There have been a few other studies that show similar results, where taking Glucomannan results in significant weight loss for overweight individuals. (293031).

Since it is a soluble fiber that absorbs water, it makes your stool “bulkier” and makes your food travel faster through the intestine (32, 33).

Conclusion: Like other soluble fibers, glucomannan absorbs water in the stomach and contributes to satiety. It may also promote reduced calorie intake and weight loss via several other mechanisms.

Other Health Benefits

constipationA meta analysis of 14 other studies showed that Glucomannan appears to improve body weight, blood glucose levels, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides (34):

  • Lowers blood sugar by 7.4 mg/dL
  • Lowers total cholesterol by 19 mg/dL
  • Lowers LDL cholesterol by 16 mg/dL
  • Lowers triglycerides by 11 mg/dL

There are also studies showing that Glucomannan can significantly help with constipation (35,36)

Bottom line: These studies indicate that glucomannan could help lower your weight, risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease – 3 of the biggest health risks americans face today.

Dosage and  Side Effects

In general, Glucomannan is considered safe with no side effects other than possible minor stomach discomfort, flatulence, or diarrhea. These are not common.

Old-woman-passing-gas-w-660x330Since Glucomannan expands to 50x its volume, it is suggested to use smaller quantities than with other soluble fibers.

1 gram taken 2-3 times per day before meals is the recommended quantity (37).

One area of concern – the Canadian Health board requires companies to label Glucomannan products with a warning to take it with 8 full ounces of water to avoid the possibility of choking if it gets stuck in the throat (38).

It is important to take before meals, otherwise it is not effective (3940).

Glucomannan can also interfere with the effectiveness of some drugs like  sulfonylurea. This is not an issue if it is taken an hour before ingesting Glucomannan.

Conclusion: Glucomannan is dietary fiber, not a drug. Possible side effects are minor stomach upset.

Where to Buy

glucomannan bottle, natures wayThere are many different choices of  Glucomannan on Amazon.

Unlike with Probiotics, where the “live” bacteria are actually dead, or Garcinia Cambogia, where the claimed 80% HCA is actually 5-10%, with Glucomannan, there is very little difference in the quality of products.

The different products are also all priced about the same, so its a lot simpler to purchase Glucomannan and not be worried about getting ripped off.

We also sell the Nature’s Way brand in our store for the same price as you find on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

Besides exercise, we always recommend a low carb or Ketogenic diet as the most important step  for weight loss.

But if you  are at  a weight loss plateau, or want a little extra boost in your weight loss efforts, you might give Glucomannan a try.

You also might want to try  Glucommanan as a Prebiotic in combination with the Probiotic Lactobacillus Gasseri.





[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Other Topics you might be interested in:

    • Research shows that Berberine helps lower blood sugar as well as prescription favorite Metformin
    • Healthy Aging, Neuroprotection, improved hearing and eyesight are some of the benefits being proven for the new Vitamin B derivative Niagen.
    • From a tasty spice to a little added boost in your weight loss efforts, Cumin is an interesting read.
    • The strongest diet pill based on all natural (non-prescription) ingredients is back on the market after fights with the FDA – check out Lipodrene


Control Your Mitochondria or They Will Control You

Mitochondria are small organelles within cells, popularly known as the powerhouses of the cell, since their main function is to burn energy. With a few exceptions, such as red blood cells, every cell in the body contains hundreds or thousands of mitochondria, and they are crucially important in aging. That’s why you must control your mitochondria or they will control you.

Aging mitochondria

Mitochondria are so important to aging that there’s an entire theory called the mitochondrial theory of aging.

As cells age, so do mitochondria, and they decline in capacity to make energy, generating reactive oxygen species (ROS, or free radicals), which cause self-damage as well as damage to the cells within which they reside.

Mitochondrial quality control is crucial to fighting aging.

Mitochondrial quality control

Perhaps the most crucial mitochondrial quality control process is autophagy, the cellular self-cleansing process that rids cells of junk. When mitochondria are subject to this process, it’s known as mitophagy. Mitochondria that are past their expiration date, that are inefficient and generating large amounts of free radicals, are sent through the meat grinder of autophagy, their constituents broken down and sent for recycling, and new mitochondria are built to replace them.

The decline in autophagy is one of the hallmarks of aging. An aging organism can no longer increase autophagy to the extent that it could when young. Autophagy is necessary because of the importance of maintaining clean cells. With aging, cells become cluttered and inefficient, and this is one of the crucial differences between young and old cells. Aging takes place most of all at the cellular level; aging cells mean an aging body. Maintenance of highly functional mitochondria is a characteristic of youth.

Insulin resistance is a characteristic of aging, and people with it have poorly functioning mitochondria.

Older people have lower exercise capacity and in general a lot less energy than young people. This is due in large part to declining mitochondrial function.

How to increase mitochondrial function

As you get older, and if you do nothing to intervene in the aging process, mitochondria decline in function and cause aging. In essence, if you don’t control your mitochondria, they will control you. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do about this; most of them require some discipline.


Exercise robustly increases mitochondrial function. A new study found that high-intensity interval training robustly increased the ability of mitochondria to generate energy, 69% greater in older people, and 49% in younger. The older people had a greater deficit in function, hence they had a greater improvement.

Intensity is a crucial component of exercise in every way, but especially so regarding improvement in mitochondria.

The study found that resistance training did not improve mitochondrial function (though it did improve insulin sensitivity), but this is likely because of training that wasn’t intense enough. Other studies have found increases in mitochondrial proteins involved in energy production in resistance training. That’s one reason for strength training I recommend high-intensity training. Nonetheless, if you lift weights, it may be beneficial to add a component of high-intensity interval training.

Intermittent fasting

Nothing increases the process of autophagy more than going without food. Intermittent fasting increases the quality of mitochondria, partly through this mechanism.

The cellular and molecular effects of intermittent fasting are similar to those of regular exercise, which suggests that mechanisms are similar.

Resveratrol and other phytochemicals

Resveratrol increases lifespan in mice on a diabetes-inducing diet. One of the ways that it works is by increasing mitochondrial quantity and quality.

EGCG, from green tea extract, also improves mitochondrial quality.


The accumulation of iron causes mitochondria to become dysfunctional, and this is critical in aging. Controlling iron levels is critical to fighting aging.

Control your mitochondria or they will control you

Aging is characterized by a loss of mitochondria quality and quantity, and there’s every reason to think these are critical to the aging process.

A couch-potato life, with no hormetic stressors, leads to poor mitochondria, and subsequent aging and disease.

Therefore you must control your mitochondria or they will control you.


Source:  http://roguehealthandfitness.com/control-mitochondria-will-control/

How to lose weight fast

christina weight lossMore than a third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight (1).

Only 30% of people in the U.S. can now be considered at a healthy weight.

Being overweight has become the new “normal.”

The need for a solution has never been greater and many people are desperate.

This has caused hundreds of fad diets, bogus pills and magic bullet weight loss solutions to pop up all over the internet.

Most of these products are scams and achieving long term success is rare.

The standard solution, a calorie restricted low-fat diet, is so ineffective that about 85% of dieters fail in the long run (2).

Unfortunately, there are no magic bullet solutions. The crash diets don’t work in the long term and the pills are mostly scams.

But what about those times when you really need to lose some weight fast?

Maybe you need to look good for a vacation or an event, fit into an outfit or look good for your wedding. Maybe you want to look your best for a special someone, or you’re simply impatient and want quick results.

In these cases, there are some things you can do that are actually based on science and don’t require you to buy a scam product that doesn’t even work.

This article will explain how to lose weight fast, using methods that are based on real scientific evidence and literally proven to be effective.

Given that diseases like heart disease, cancer and type II diabetes go hand-in-hand with weight gain, this advice may save your life. Literally.

How to Lose Weight Fast in 2016 – The Ultimate Guide

The most important hormone when it comes to body fat storage is insulin, a hormone that I’m sure you’ve heard of before and is best known for its important role in blood sugar control.

What insulin also does, is function as a “gatekeeper” to your fat cells. Insulin shunts blood sugar into fat cells and tells them to build and store body fat.

At the same time, insulin tells the fat cells to hold on to the fat that they carry, and not to let any of it out.

With a western diet, insulin levels can become constantly elevated. They are high almost all the time, leading to the constant body fat accumulation we call weight gain and obesity.

If you’re carrying a lot of body fat on your frame then you have problems with insulin.

How to Lower Insulin Levels

Carbohydrates get broken down into sugar (glucose) in the digestive tract, then travel into the blood and require insulin to get shunted into cells (including fat cells).

Carbohydrates raise insulin the most. Consequently, reducing carbohydrates in the diet makes insulin levels go down. Way down.

When insulin goes down, the fat cells not only stop producing all that extra fat but also stop holding on to the fat that they were carrying.

Suddenly the body has access to a whole lot of body fat that it can burn for energy. When this happens, the brain figures out that there’s plenty of fuel available and that it doesn’t need to eat so much anymore.

The brain makes your appetite go down and weight loss occurs without any sort of restriction in calories as long as the carbs are kept low.

When researchers compare low-carb to low-fat diets in scientific studies, they need to actively restrict calories in the low-fat groups, while the low-carb groups can eat until fullness (3).

In such studies, the low-carb dieters lose more weight, faster, without counting calories and without being hungry. True story (4).

These are the results from a 24-week study on 53 overweight women, from the University of Cincinnati in the year 2003. The researchers are comparing a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet. Take note that the women on the low-fat diet are calorie restricted, while the low-carb women are not hungry and eating as much as they want (5).

Low Carb Weight Loss Results

These results are typical for carb restricted weight loss diets.

Low-carb diets are also healthier. They improve blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides, and cause a greater amount of fat loss than the low-fat diet recommended by most dietitians (6, 7, 8, 9).

A low-carb diet is probably also the best option to reverse type II diabetes (10, 11).

Despite what you may think, low-carb isn’t any harder than other weight loss diets.

The research shows that low-carb diets usually have better compliance (more people make it to the end of the studies) than the diets they are compared to, mostly because they don’t require people to consciously eat less and be hungry (12).

Reducing carbs and insulin is the healthiest, easiest and most effective way to lose fat fast. It is a scientific fact.

People also report various health improvements on low-carb diets, including improved skin, less acne and improved energy levels.

The only thing you need to restrict is carbohydrates.

Calorie counting isn’t necessary, although you can count calories if you want. Losing weight fast would requires something like a 1000 calorie/day deficit, which theoretically should make you lose two pounds per week (Full article: how many calories should I eat?).

So, how many carbohydrates exactly?

  • Maintenance: 100-150 grams of carbs per day.
  • Steady Weight Loss: Under 100 grams.
  • Fast Weight Loss: Under 50 grams of carbs per day.

You can use the free service Fitday to keep track of the amount of carbs you’re eating.

Be aware that it can take a few days for your body to adapt. It’s called the “low carb flu” and is usually over in three days.

What happens is that your body ramps up production of enzymes and other machinery that it needs to generate its own glucose and burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.

In a few days time, you will be “fat adapted” and both dietary and stored fat will be easily accessible to your body’s cells. No more afternoon dips in energy and ravenous hunger between meals, which is fairly common on a high-carb diet.

Foods That Make You Sick And Fat

  • Sugar: Sugar (and its evil twin, High Fructose Corn Syrup) is addictive, very fattening and one of the main causes of the metabolic syndrome (13, 14, 15).
  • Gluten Grains: Gluten is the main protein found in wheat, spelt, rye and barley and may lead to health problems in susceptible individuals (16, 17, 18).
  • Seed Oils: Seed and vegetable oils like soybean and corn oil contain excess Omega-6 fats and should be avoided (19, 20).
  • Trans Fats: These are fats found in processed foods and are very harmful for the human body. Luckily, they’re not being used in food production that much anymore (21, 22, 23).
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Many studies suggest that artificial sweeteners, despite being calorie free, are associated with (ironically) weight gain and the metabolic syndrome (24, 25, 26).
  • Low-Fat Foods: Anything labelled “low-fat” will most likely be highly processed and filled with sugar or other artificial chemicals.
  • Highly Processed Food: Foods that are highly processed are likely to be filled with unhealthy ingredients and artificial chemicals, while being void of nutrients.

You MUST read labels. Even foods disguised as health foods may contain added sugar, wheat flour and other unhealthy substances.

Replacing these with healthy and natural foods (see below) should be enough for the fat to start coming off without calorie restriction or any major effort.

However, this article is about losing weight fast so you will need some additional tweaks.

Since you will be going very low on the carbs (under 50g per day), then you also need to:

  1. Remove all grains (also the whole grains).
  2. Remove Starchy Vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.)
  3. Restrict fruit to one piece per day (preferably berries).

This is temporary. When you’ve reached your goal weight then you can reintroduce healthy carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, oats and some others. That is if you want to, many people are fine with eating this way for the rest of their (much healthier) lives.

More info here: How to Eat Healthy, Lose Weight and Feel Awesome Every Day

Healthy Foods That Can Save Your Life

A picture of Weight Loss Foods

You may have heard someone tell you that fatty foods like meat are bad for you, but that is absolute nonsense.

Natural foods that are high in fat are actually very nutritious and healthy, and these should really provide the majority of your calories on a low-carb diet.

Meat, fish and eggs. These form the foundation of the diet. The fat and protein are extremely satiating, allowing you to eat until fullness while still being in a massive calorie deficit.

You should also eat plenty of low-carb vegetables to get your daily requirements of fiber, Vitamin C and other nutrients. Don’t worry, you can eat lots of vegetables without going over your carb limit.

Each meal should be composed of one of three items:

1. Meat and poultry, fish and other seafood, eggs.

  • Meat and Poultry: beef, hamburger (no bread), steak, chicken, turkey, pork, veal. Choose the fattier cuts, they are more satiating.
  • Fish and Seafoods: Salmon, cod, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, trout, tuna, mackarel. Any fish really, the fattier fish are better and carry more Omega-3s.
  • Eggs: It is better to choose Omega-3 enriched eggs. They’re healthier.

2. Fats and Oils.

  • Fats and oils: butter, coconut oil, lard and olive oil. Grass-fed butter and unrefined oils are better.

3. Low-Carb Vegetables.

  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, kale, etc. Eat as much vegetables as you want and try to have some at every meal.

This is not a complete list of foods, just to give you some ideas!

Some cheese, heavy cream, nuts and seeds are fine, but mainly as parts of meals because snacking on them during the day can increase your calorie intake drastically.

Some people recommend eating 5-6 times per day. I personally think this is ridiculous and inconvenient.

I eat 2-3 times per day. When you compose your meals of protein and fat, you won’t need to eat nearly as often and you’ll have stable energy levels.

A typical day for me:

  • Breakfast – 7:30 am – Eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil.
  • Lunch – 12:30 – Leftovers from dinner the night before.
  • Dinner – 7:00 pm – Burgers without the bun, with spinach and mild salsa.

I recommend you eat 3 meals per day. If you get hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal.

If you want, you can take a break from your diet one day per week (Saturday is great) and eat less fat, more carbs and more calories for one day. Try to choose healthier carb sources like rice, oats and root vegetables like sweet potatoes.

This is the perfect day for a weekly cheat meal where you can have whatever you want.

What About Exercise?

Exercise is obviously important and an essential part of being healthy.

That being said, you don’t need to exercise to lose weight on this plan, but it is highly recommended.

You definitely don’t want to lose weight just to find yourself all loose and flabby.

Doing exercise helps you get the lean and toned look that everyone wants, not to mention that exercise is probably the single most important thing you can do to reduce junk food cravings, feel good and increase your energy levels.

I recommend strength training three times per week, either in the gym or with bodyweight exercises. Also, cardiovascular exercise such as walking or jogging two times per week.

A Meal Plan That Can Save Your Life

Day 1 – Monday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and veggies, fried in butter or coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken wings (leftovers from night before).
  • Dinner: Cheeseburger without the bun. Serve with vegetables and salsa sauce.

Day 2 – Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: Leftover cheeseburgers from the night before.
  • Dinner: Boiled Salmon with butter and vegetables.

Day 3 – Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables, fried in butter.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad with some olive oil.
  • Dinner: Grilled chicken wings.

Day 4 – Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Leftovers from dinner the night before.
  • Dinner: Steak, with vegetables.

Day 5 – Friday:

  • Breakfast: Stir fry with eggs and vegetables. Fry in coconut oil or butter.
  • Lunch: Chicken salad, with some olive oil.
  • Dinner: Pork Chops, with vegetables.

Day 6 – Saturday (optional):

  • Breakfast: Omelet with various veggies.
  • Lunch: Leftovers from dinner the night before.
  • Dinner: Pork Loin.

Day 7 – Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs.
  • Lunch: Salad with some shrimp.
  • Dinner: Roasted chicken.

If you prefer to eat out at lunch, try to find places that serve something healthy and low-carb like bacon and eggs, chicken salads or something similar.

If you find yourself ravenously hungry between meals, some baby carrots, a full-fat yogurt, leftovers in a box and a handful of nuts are all great snack ideas.

A Sample Day of Meals

Breakfast: Eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil.

Put coconut oil on pan, throw a frozen vegetable mix on top and turn up the heat. When thawed, add eggs and some flavour (salt and pepper, or some kind of spice mix).

Stir fry until ready.

Stir fry with eggs and vegetables

Lunch: Grilled chicken wings, leftovers from night before.

Put spice on chicken wings, insert into oven and bake until they turn brown with a crunchy texture. Serve with some vegetables.

Grilled chicken wings with vegetables

Dinner: Cheeseburgers without the bun, fried in butter.

Add butter to pan. Add burgers and spice. When close to being ready, add the cheese on top. Serve with some vegetables. Put some mild salsa on top of the burgers to make them more juicy.

Cheeseburgers without the bun

If these meals look delicious, that’s because they are! On a low-carb diet, you can eat these foods until fullness and still lose weight. Welcome to paradise!

A Blueprint so Simple a Monkey Could Do It

  1. Do not drink calories (no milk, sodas or juices). Coffee, tea and water are fine.
  2. Avoid sugar, grains, starchy vegetables and limit your intake of fruit.
  3. Each meal: protein, fat and veggies.
  4. Stay under 50 grams of carbs per day.
  5. Exercise! A combination of strength training and cardio works best.
  6. Optional: Take a break from your diet one day per week.

You can expect to lose 5-10 pounds in the first week, although a lot of that will be water weight.

After that, consistent weight loss of 1-3lbs per week is typical, depending on how strict you are, how much exercise you do and much weight you have to lose.

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Other Topics you might be interested in:

    •  Low carb diets are all the rage now. We talk about the different flavors of low carb diets here
    • Berberine has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and is now being proven to lower blood sugar better than prescription medicines. Read more about it .
    • Ever wonder what Probiotics are, and what all the fuss is about? Now we’re learning they may aid weight loss too!
    • Cumin is a wonderful tasting spice that has benefits for heart health and helps some people drop a few pounds too.
    • The biggest thing for healthy aging is Nicotinamide Riboside, or Niagen, a recently discovery Vitamin B3.
    • Lipodrene is still one of the strongest natural diet aids, even though the manufacturers have had to modify the formula several times to respond to complaints by the FDA.
    • Garcinia Cambogia is not as popular in 2016 as it was in 2013-2015, but still getting a lot of traction on Amazon.





Myths about milk and bone health

milk mythsDon’t get me wrong… I love butter, cream and delicious cheese as much as the next person.

But when I see some well-meaning folks tout dairy (usually low-fat… yuck) as some kind of necessity for bone health I can’t help raising an eyebrow.

So I set out to explore whether dairy really has any part to play.

It’s a good source of calcium, that we know.

But bone metabolism is complex and there’s a lot more than just calcium in there.

Other minerals, vitamins, hormones, dietary factors etc. also play a part and it doesn’t make evolutionary sense that we should need dairy because we didn’t eat dairy after weaning throughout evolution.

So… is dairy really good for your bones or is it just another myth?

A Quick Primer on Osteoporosis

The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, characterized by bone demineralization and deterioration of bone structure.

Osteoporosis = “porous” bones.

Healthy bones contain minerals and proteins tied together in an extremely rigid structure. In osteoporosus, these minerals and proteins deteriorate, the bones become less dense and therefore more likely to break.

Osteoporosis is most common in post-menopausal women and the resultant fractures can have a significant negative effect on quality of life.

The main reason why we would want to keep our bones dense and strong, is to prevent osteoporosis and resultant fractures later in life.

This is a pretty big problem in western countries and may perhaps be considered as one of many diseases of civilization as it is rare in hunter-gatherer populations.

It seems logical enough to associate dairy, the richest dietary source of Calcium, with bone mineral density given that calcium (in the form of calcium phosphate) is the most abundant mineral in bone.

Osteoporotic Bones

Of course, there’s more to dairy than just calcium.

Dairy is a whole food rich in animal protein, phosphorus, Vitamin K2 and various other nutrients that may or may not have an impact on our bones.

Controlled Trials on Dairy Consumption

Luckily for us, this issue has been investigated intensely and multiple randomized controlled trials have explored the effects of dairy consumption on bone mineral density.

In one study published in 1990, pre-menopausal women that added dairy to their diet had much lower rate of bone loss than a control group.

The control group lost 2,9% of bone mass from the vertebrae (bones of the spine) over a 3 year period, while the women who added dairy to their diet maintained their bone mass (1).

Another study published in 1997, this time in adolescent girls, discovered that the group of girls who drank additional milk had increased bone growth compared to a control group who didn’t (2).

Several other randomized trials that look at dairy consumption specifically show significant positive association with bone mineral content, which should lead to a reduced risk of fracture later in life (3, 4).

Basically, it seems that dairy products do in fact build stronger bones.

Despite the promising results of the controlled trials however, there are some observational studies, including the massive Nurses Health Study, that fail to show a positive effect for dairy and calcium consumption on fracture risk (5, 6).

(Of course, randomized controlled trials trump observational studies).

What About Calcium Supplements?

If you prefer to avoid dairy for one reason or another, there is the option to take a calcium supplement.

This has also been studied extensively, and calcium supplements on their own also lead to improved bone density and lower risk of fracture (7, 8).

However, I must warn against the use of calcium supplements because there is some evidence that taking calcium in the form of a supplement can increase risk of cardiovascular disease (9).

For further reading on calcium, dairy and bone health, read this excellent paper by Dr. Robert P. Heaney, one of the world’s leading experts on bone health.

Take Home Message

It turns out that the dairy and bone thing isn’t a myth after all. It has been extensively studied and there is no doubt about it that both calcium supplements and dairy lead to improved bone health.

I personally don’t take a calcium supplement, but I do eat a hefty amount of full-fat cheese at least several times per week. This brings my weekly calcium intake to appropriate levels.

If you’re female, then optimizing your calcium intake among other things, may be important to prevent bone loss and fractures later in life.

I should point out though, that this picture is more complicated than it seems.

For example, countries such as the U.S. which consume a lot of dairy also have a lot of osteoporosis.

And of course… dairy isn’t the only food that contains calcium. Leafy greens, nuts, some types of fish, eggs, etc. all contain a hefty amount.

What I recommend you do is eat a real food based diet that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals, engage in weight bearing exercise (lift heavy things), optimize your Vitamin D status and generally make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle.

To sum up, yes… dairy appears to be good for your bones, but it is just one part of an extremely complex picture that involves various modifiable lifestyle factors that can impact future bone health.

Long term human study proves Nicotinamide Riboside safely elevates NAD+

Preliminary results are in for this clinical study of 120 elderly subjects taking Elysium Health’s BASIS that was completed July 28.

Although the full results are not yet published, Elysium Health just issued this press release stating that primary and secondary endpoints were met.

Healthy patients between 60 and 80 years of age were given placebo,  or 2 different dosages of BASIS daily for 8 weeks.

BASIS is a combination of 2 products patented by Chromadex , Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) and Pterostilbene.

Note – this is not the same as NMN (Nicotinamide Mono-Nucleotide).

Those given BASIS received either a single capsule containing 250 mg Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), and 50 mg Pterostilbene, or 2 capsules, containing 500 mg NR and 100 mg Pterostilbene.

The full study can be found here:

A Study to Evaluate Safety and Health Benefits of Basis™ Among Elderly Subjects

Some of the findings noted in the press release were:

  • Study subjects showed no serious adverse events, confirming BASIS to be safe for use over extended periods
  • Subjects taking a single capsule with 250mg NR showed an average increase in blood NAD+ levels of 40% over baseline by week 4 and maintained that increase throughout the trial
  • Subjects taking 2 capsule with 500mg NR were found to have a 90% elevation in blood NAD+ levels at week 4, and maintained a significantly higher blood NAD+ level throughout the trial (compared to those taking a single capsule)

[box] Long term supplementation with NR is safe and effectively elevates NAD+ levels in Humans [/box]


dosageA previously published human study on NR supplemention effects on NAD+ levels used 100, 300, and 1,000mg dosages of NR.

Results from the 2 experiments in that prior study seemed to indicate the most effective dosage of NR as being somewhere between the 300 and 1,000mg levels.

Although details are scarce, the preliminary results from this most recent clinical study seem to agree with the prior study as to NR dosage effects on blood NAD+.

We note the press release says the higher dosage with 500mg of NR showed 90% increase in NAD+ over baseline at 4 weeks.

That 90% increase was not maintained throughout, but did show a “significant increase” throughout the study.

So, the blood NAD+ increase was higher at 4 weeks and came back down somewhat over the remaining 4 weeks the study. (testing was limited to 4 times throughout the study)

This seems to indicate that the maximum sustainable NAD+ increase thru NR supplementation is achieved with 500 mg a day, and any dosage higher than 500mg would probably not be more effective.

It’s quite possible that a dose lower than 500 mg that would achieve same increase in NAD+, but there is no clue from this study what that dose might be.

Note that these are averages and that individuals exhibit a wide variety of response to NR supplementation.

[box]On average, 500 mg day of NR appears to be sufficient to achieve maximum blood NAD+ elevation [/box]


[product_category category=”nicotinamide-riboside” columns=”3″ per_page=”6″ orderby=”menu_id” order=”asc”]


Some things we find interesting about the study design:

  • Dosages of 250 and 500mg only. Implies they don’t believe more than 500mg is beneficial
  • Only 4 office visits during the testing, so not going to see daily NAD+ levels

Primary Outcomes

  • Basic health parameters to ensure safety – blood pressure, blood parameters, heart rate.  Should be no problem at these dosages, so expect press release soon saying they met primary endpoints

Secondary Outcomes

  • NAD+ measurements as expected
  • Interesting they include a lot of performance measurements – treadmill, chair standing, elderly activity testing.
  • Body Weight measurement – weight loss has been mentioned in some reports, but very little so far.  Could be a game changer if positive response


  • Pain Assessment.  Another benefit that has been mentioned very little in previous reports

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

  • Healthy individuals only
  • 60 to 80 years age – much older than the first study published on human testing.  Will be very interesting to see dosage and NAD+ response in this population
  • Bodyweight – 18-35kg per m2 – fairly limited upper weight is surprising – maybe limiting the potential for weight loss.


Primary Outcome Measures:









Lactobacillus Gasseri – the Weight Loss Probiotic?

There are millions of bacteria that inhabit our guts.  Most are beneficial, and are referred to as Probiotics.

A healthy and diverse population of these good bacteria are key to proper functioning of our digestive and immune systems, greatly impacting our physical and mental health. (1234).

We can improve the population of good bacteria in our guts thru proper nutrition, and by taking Probiotic supplements.

Research has shown this can relieve many chronic health problems.  While not as strong as Garcinia Cambogia, some Probiotics may also help us lose weight and belly fat.

Probiotic Strains that may help lose weight and belly fat

650x600_lactobacillus_finalStudies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (21).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus supplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (22).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Note that in these 2 studies mentioned above subjects were provided with Prebiotics along with the LG (Yoghurt and Inulin) which is thought to improve the effectiveness.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Lactobacillus gasseri is generating the most excitement and further research for its  effects on weight loss.

There have been several mouse studies that showed positive results for weight control (25262728).

Human studies are also promising.  Most recently,  a 2 week study of 30 healthy men in 2015.

Subject were given a glass of fermented milk to drink every day, with half including Lactobacillus gasseri in their drink and the other half not.

Testing of fecal samples before and after the study showed those receiving Lactobacillus gasser had a higher amount of fat in the feces after the 2 weeks, while the control group did not (29).

lactobacillus gasseri and weight loss

Effect of intake of fermented milk containing Lactobacillus gasseri on fecal fat excretion in humans.

This proved that not only does the Lactobacillus gasseri survive the digestive process, but that it had an effect on the metabolism, resulting in less fat being absorbed.

This study demonstrates the mechanism for how Lactobacillus gasseri can effect the system.

An earlier Japanese study showed Lactobacillus gasseri can effectively reduce waist size, BMI and the dangerous visceral fat that accumulates around the organs (30).

A Korean company has patented a form of LG derived from mothers milk they call Lactobacillus gasseri BNR17, and been granted a certificate of Functional Ingredient for Body Fat reduction  (31)

Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat. Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.

Natural Food Sources of Lactobacillus Gasseri

probiotic foodsLactobacillus bacteria is the most commonly used for fermentation.

Most fermented foods naturally contain Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria.

Kombucha, Kefir, yoghurt and pickled vegetables like kimchi, sauerkraut are good sources of a wide variety of Lactobacillus strains.

Some fermented meats like salami and chorizo also contain lactobacillus bacteria.

You can also ferment foods yourself at home, but be sure to do it properly. I recommend starting with these recipes for kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut.

Lactobacillus gasseri is also found naturally in breast milk, which is thought to help the development of an infant’s immune system.

Where to buy Lactobacillus Gasseri

amazon cartLactobacillus Gasseri is the most effective probiotic strain for weight loss identified so far.

There are several brands on Amazon that include some L Gasseri in combination with 10 or more other strains.

These are the only 2 we have been able to find that primarily use L Gasseri.

Swanson  – A single strain – Lactobacillus Gasseri –  3 billion CFUs.

Phillips Colon Health  – 3 different strains including Lactobacillus Gasseri –  1.5 billion CFUs.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are bacteria (biotic)  we eat that are beneficial (pro) to our bodies.

We humans carry around 10 times as many microorganisms with us as we have cells in our body.  (5).

what are probiotics
They are most prominent in  the stomach and intestinal tract where they aid nutrient absorption and  immune system and are referred to as our gut flora or gut microbiome.

There are hundreds  of strains   of these friendly bacteria that aid digestion and produce important nutrients, including B and K vitamins.

Antibiotics we sometimes use can  kill or inhibit the growth of the “good”  bacteria in our gut as well as the the “bad” bacteria which can seriously impact our health (6).

By adding more probiotic foods into your diet, you could reap the following health benefits:

  • Stronger immune system
  • Healing leaky gut syndrome and IBS
  • Improved digestion
  • Increased energy
  • Weight loss
  • Healthier skin

 Damage to our Digestive Systems

Probiotics-vs-Antibiotics-1Modern agricultural practices including  rampant use of pesticides, chlorine soaking,  preservatives and refrigeration   leave our foods have very little probiotics today.

In fact, some foods now have dangerous antibiotics that destroy the bacteria in our digestive system.

In addition to the problems with our foods, we also encounter many toxins in our environment that harm our digestive system, resulting in chronic inflammation that is the root cause of many diseases and chronic health issues
Damaged from:

  • Antibiotics
  • Processed Grains
  • Sugar
  • Emotional Stress
  • Chemicals and medications

Too many of us are subjected  to many of these everyday.  If they’re not addressed, the population of good bacteria is decimated  and you gut can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria, parasites, yeast and fungi.

Our foods, environment, stresses and medicines can all damage the biology in our guts and wreak havoc on our health.

How does Gut Bacteria affect weight

woman-eating-yogurt-with-berries-flaxThe biology of our guts is not static, and can be changed by diet and outside environmental factors(12).

Bacteroidetes and firmicutes are the 2 main families of bacteria that are important for regulating bodyweight by digesting  fatty acids and dietary polysaccharides.

Imbalance of these ratios (gut dysbiosis)  affect weight loss or gain.
The functions of the hundreds of different strains of bacteria are complex and not entirely understood, with some disagreement among researchers (78).

Some bacteria help digest  fiber into beneficial fatty acids  butyrate (9).

Prevotella  is a enterotype, or  family of bacteria strain that help digest carbohydrates and are more prevalent in people who consume a lot of carbohydrates.

Bacteroides are another family of bacteria that is more prevalent in people who consume significant amounts of animal protein.

Increasing the population of certain strains of bacteria is now thought to effect how our bodies process and store food, which can affect weight.

weight-loss-research-scientists-mouseAn early sign of this was a study where gut bacteria from obese mice that are transplanted into the guts of normal weight mice result in those mice soon becoming obese (13).

Minimising low-grade inflammation, one of the main drivers behind metabolic disease, is the primary suspect (141516).

In people, studies show that those who are overweight  have much different populations of bacteria  than people of normal weight (1718).

This lead to further studies to see which strains of bacteria were different.

Those studies show normal weight people have more bacteroidetes, and fewer firmicutes than overweight people. (1920).

Several studies have demonstrated regular use can increase number and diversity of bacteria microbiota, and provide relief from colitis, diarrhea, and improve immune system response (32,33,34,35,36,37)

These results opened up some very exciting possibilities for weight loss to see how much we can alter our gut bacteria to help cure obesity.

There is wide variation in the population of bacteria in each persons gut. Research shows it is influenced by out diet, and these bacteria play a powerful role in controlling weight

Final Thoughts

Besides weight loss, a healthy microbiome can have improve digestive health, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular risk factors and even help fight depression and anxiety.

Proper diet is the best way to improve your gut flora.

Probiotic Supplements can also increase the number and diversity of your gut flora.

Research indicates probiotics can help some people lose belly fat and weight.

The effects are minor though, along the lines of what you might expect from using Cumin
or Niagen.

On the plus side though, Probiotics do not have the side effects
of strong diet supplements.

As always, we recommend a low carb diet and more exercise as the most effective way to lose weight.

Are Artificial Sweeteners good for weight loss?

artificial sweeteners lady reaction
Excessive sugar consumption is now recognized as being a major contributor to increasing rates of obesity (1), metabolic syndrome (2), diabetes(3), high cholesterol, heart disease (456), and even cancer (789,10).

In response, many people turn to artificial sweeteners  for use in soft drinks, candies, baked goods, ice cream and other sweet foods.

Since artificial sweeteners are near to  zero calorie, you might think  they would clearly aid weight loss, but that is debatable (11)

Besides weight loss, many Doctors and Nutritionists believe artificial sweeteners are  in fact very bad for your health (12,13).

We do not cover the  natural low-calorie sweeteners such as stevia,  xylitol, erythritol, sorbitol and mannitol in this article.

Artificial Sweeteners and Appetite Regulation

hypothalamusSweet foods activate pathways in our brains that cause the release of  hormones.  This  is known as the “food reward” pathways (141516).

The satisfied feeling we get after eating sweets is due to this release of hormones, which is similar to other addictions like drugs (171819).

Artificial sweeteners fool our taste buds, but do not activate the same pathways in our brains to trigger the food reward.  As a result, cravings for more sugary foods is increased (20).

The hypothalamus is the appetite regulator in the brain.  Magnetic imaging shows decreased activity in the hypothalamus after consuming sugar drinks (21).

This decreased activity in the hypothalamus is not seen after consuming aspartame, indicating the food reward pathways have not been as fully activated.

The sweet taste is rewarding, but without the satiety it may be that you continue craving and end up consuming more calories.
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: It is possible that artificial sweeteners do not fully satisfy our cravings for sweets as well as sugar or other natural sweeteners that have calories.[/box]

Different Types of Artificial Sweeteners

2010-08-03-pie_chart_sweeteners_v21. Aspartame – (NutraSweet, Equal)
The FDA approved aspartame over 35 years ago. Today it’s found  in over  6,000 foods and drinks.  It isn’t heat-stable, so is not used in baked foods.

2. Sucralose (Splenda)
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter in sugar.  It is used in tabletop sweeteners and a variety of beverages, dairy products, fruits, syrups, and baked goods.

3. Acesulfame K (ACE, Sunette, Sweet ‘N Safe)
Acesulfame K is used in sugar-free chewing gum, candy, dairy products, and alcoholic beverages.  It’s also increasingly popular as a “flavor enhancer.”

4. Saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low)
In the 1970s, saccharin was thought to  cause  bladder cancer.  This has since been disproven and the FDA has rescinded warning about it. Currently it’s used to sweeten children’s medications such as chewable aspirin, cough syrup, and other  medications.
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: There are many different artificial sweeteners, with the most common being aspartame, saccharin, sucralose , and cesulfame potassium[/box]

Increased  Sugar Cravings

sugar-cravings-diagramOpponents of artificial sweeteners sometimes argue that they increase sugar cravings (22).

The reasoning is that the option of a zero calorie diet soda causes people to drink more sodas than if the only option is a sugar filled 200 calorie soda.

There are no calories, and they satisfied their craving, so isn’t that a good thing?

Well, we know that our tastes are trained so we prefer more of things we eat regularly (23).

The more sweets we eat or drink, the more sweets we crave.

The reverse is also proven to be true.  For example, reducing salty or fat foods for a few weeks lowers our cravings for salty or fat foods (2425).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: Overindulging in sweets because they have no added sugar calories just reinforces our cravings for sweets.[/box]

Artificial Sweeteners and Metabolic Health

Are-artificial-sweeteners-bad-for-diabetesH Some studies suggest frequent use of artificial sweeteners actually increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes (26)

One study found that they increased  risk of metabolic syndrome by 34% (27).

Another study found that diet sodas increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 121% (28).

How these increased health problems occur may be explained by a recent study that shows zero calorie diet sodas alter the bacteria in our stomach (gut microbes) and induce glucose intolerance (29).

These gut microbes are key as there is evidence that many chronic metabolic diseases begin in gut, and that probiotics supplements can help weight loss  (3031).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: Artificial Sweeteners may affect the millions of bacteria in our guts that direct our metabolism and influence a wide range of health problems, but the connection is difficult to prove and needs further study.[/box]

Artificial Sweeteners  aid Weight Loss

burn-fat-fast-waysIn studies where caloric intake was closely monitored and controlled, it is clear that use of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar does aid weight loss (3233).

Reviews of dozens of clinical trials found use of artificial sweeteners instead of sugar resulted in weight loss of about just under 2 pounds on average  (343536).

The largest study tracked 641  children of 4-11 years for 18 months.

Every day at lunch they were given 8 ounces of a high calorie sugary drink or a zero calorie artificially sweetened drink.

Those assigned to the  zero calorie drink gained on average 2.2 pounds less than the group that consumed the sugar drink (37).
[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Conclusion: In studies where portions are controlled and artificial sweeteners are used in place of sugar, they do have a modest effect on weight loss.[/box]

Final Thoughts

Artificial Sweeteners might not be as effective in satisfying cravings for sweets, and may even increase the cravings.

They may also contribute to health problems such as leaky gut syndrome, although no definitive proof yet exists.

However, if portions are controlled and they are simply used to replace a sugar filled  soda or fruit juice, and do not encourage greater consumption, then  artificial sweeteners have a slight positive effect in aiding weight loss.

The weight loss benefits are not overwhelming so the choice of sugar or artificial sweeteners is not critical for weight loss success.

The research IS overwhelming that excessive sugar consumption leads to myriad health problems, so your best bet is to avoid sweet foods and drinks  as much as possible.

[box style=”rounded” border=”full”]Other Topics you might be interested in:

  • After being laughed or scoffed at for decades, ever since Dr Atkins popularized it, there are dozens, if not hundreds of different takes on the low carb diet now.
  • We’ve been huge fans of Berberine for multiple health benefits. It’s now being included in weight loss products are well.
  • Probiotics are much like Berberine – just now becoming known to the mainstream, and also showing promise for weight loss.
  • Cumin is very well known as a spice that studies are showing can aid dieters drop a little extra weight.
  • Niagen is being called the “God Vitamin” by some for its anti-aging and health regeneration properties.
  • The best known diet pill of the last few years is still the king, but so many scammers selling worthless Garcinia Cambogia on Amazon have definitely hurt its reputation.
  • [/box]

Is Green Tea an effective diet aid ?

Girl-Drinking-Tea-WebGreen tea is one of the healthiest drinks known to man.

It is jam-packed with  antioxidants that have been proven to be  beneficial to the body in preventing skin damage, improving brain function, lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and more (1,2,3,4)

The benefits of green tea are not dependent on drinking it in tea. It is just as effective in extract form.

In fact, if you read the label of any fat burning product (5,6,7) and their is a high probability that it includes some Green Tea Extract.

Substances in Green Tea help boost metabolism

Boost-MetabolismTheir are several bioactive substances from the leaves of green tea that have been shown in research studies to have some small beneficial effect on weight loss for obese individuals (8,9)

When you drink the tea, these substances are readily absorbed by you body (10).

The most well-known of these substances is caffeine. A single serving of green tea only has about 40 mg of caffeine, whereas the same amount of coffee holds well over 100 mg.

However, it is still enough to have a slight effect on your system.

Caffeine is well-known to be effective in fat burning, and studies have shown it to enhance performance in physical exercise (1112).

Caffeine is not the only star of green tea. It  is full of catechins, a potent antioxidant (13). The most important catechin is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful substance that aids in boosting metabolism (14).

Green tea contains bioactive substances such as caffeine and EGCG,  which have many beneficial effects including boosting metabolism

Helps Cells Release Fat

brain to fat cellsTo burn body fat, it must first be broken down within the cell and then moved into the bloodstream.

Green tea’s active compounds aid this process by enhancing the effects of fat-burning hormones within the body.

For instance, the antioxidant EGCG helps by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine (15).

When this occurs, norepinephrine increases (16). The nervous system reacts to this hormone increase by signaling the fat cells to break down their fat reserves.

On top of this, the naturally occurring EGCG and caffeine in green tea may have a synergistic effect as caffeine enhances steps along the same signal path (17).

This results in the cells breaking down and releasing more fat into the bloodstream, where it is then used by the body as energy.

The healthy substances found in green tea increase the hormones that signal the body to break down fat in its cells, where it is released to become energy.

Targets harmful Visceral Fat

visceral-fatGreen tea has only a modest effect on total pounds lost. Two studies reviewing controlled trials of weight loss with green tea show an average of three pounds per person, on average (1819).

However, it is important to note that all types of fat are not the same.

Subcutaneous fat is fat which is stored under the skin.

Visceral fat is the much more dangerous abdominal fat that builds up around the organs.

It is this visceral fat that causes insulin resistance and inflammation, which are two leading causes of many serious conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease (20).

While the weight loss effects of green tea may be humble, the good news is that a notable portion of the fat that is lost is that dangerous visceral fat around our midsections (212223).

The unhealthy visceral fat around the midsection is reduced most with use of Green Tea

Burns Fat much more effectively when combined with Exercise

exercise cartoon
In one particular study on the subject, some men took green tea extract while others did not.

Both groups exercised, but those who were given the extract burned a whopping 17% more fat than those who did not (24).

Another study performed over an 8-week period showed that green tea was not only an effective fat burner during exercise, but at rest as well (25).

Several other studies have backed this claim. It seems that green tea promotes fat burning in general, which can lead to reduced fat stores over time (2627).

Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of green tea in burning fat in the body, and this effect is further increased when exercise is included.

Boosts Metabolism and Helps Burn Calories 24/7

Studies show that green tea increases the body’s ability to burn calories even when it is at rest. This is generally around 3-4%, however, may rise as high as 8% in some cases (282930).

These studies were short, but there is evidence outside of them to suggest the metabolism-boosting effects occur over the long-term (3132).

In one such study, 60 obese individuals were tracked over a period of three months. Half of the participants were given green tea extract, the rest placebo.

Those receiving Green Tea Extract lost on average 7.3 more pounds and after the three months were burning 183 more calories a day than those who received placebo. (33).

Not all studies show such positive results from Green Tea. It seems to be highly dependent on the individual.(34).

Studies have shown the metabolism-boosting effects of green tea, which can increase caloric burn 3-4% a day.

Final thoughts

Green tea provides a slight increase in fat burning and metabolism.

Although it doesn’t seem to be as effective as Garcinia Cambogia, it does help target the worst belly fat, and when combined with other weight loss strategies like low carbohydrate diets, eating more protein, and getting more exercise it is very effective.

Green tea is good for you in other ways beyond just losing weight. Read more about the benefits of Green Tea here.

Many of these same health benefits are being proven for the recently discovered Anti-Aging Vitamin Nicotinamide Riboside.

Is Fruit Juice good for weight loss?

girl drinking juiceThere are many  popular detox, cleanse, and other liquid diets that utilize  fruit juices as a primary source of calories

The lemon cleanse diet is typical.  For 10 days you have a lemonade drink, saltwater, and an herbal tea laxative.  Participants do lose weight as they are taking in very few calories, but also lose muscle.

It is debatable if the lemon juice helps or the 10 day  fast works just as well with other liquids.

The popularity of such diets is partly  because people believe all fruit juices are healthy since they are “natural”, and full of  vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

However, many people do not recognize that fruit juice sometimes contains just as much, if not more, sugar and calories than sugar-filled soft drinks (1).

While fruit juices do have many nutrients, they are not magical, and for weight loss purposes they do not outweigh the negative effects of the sugar content.

Do NOT assume it that all fruit juices are healthy drink choices, especially for weight loss

Processed Fruit Juice Isn’t the Same as Fresh Squeezed

fresh squeezedWhile fruit juice is in fact made with fruit, the manufacturing process removes much of the fiber and some nutrition (2,3).

Even juices that are labelled “Not From Concentrate” or “100% Juice” have additional additives and flavor enhancers, and manufacturers often use deceptive labeling.

Fruit juice is not often packaged and sold immediately after being squeezed from the fruit. It may sit in an oxygen-depleted holding tank for up to a year before it is put in a package and ends up in stores (4).

Much of the flavor is lost during this storage period so manufacturers enhance their products with “flavor packs” which is not noted on the label (5).

Even high quality juices are a far cry from fresh squeezed.

Inexpensive juices are even worse, as many of those are just sugar-filled water with a little fruit flavoring.

Even the highest quality juice goes through a manufacturing process that causes it to lose flavor which requires producers to add “flavor packs” to restore its natural flavor.

More Sugar than Soda


The high sugar content of fruit juices is often overlooked, and  people consider them to be a healthier choice than sodas, but this is not always true.

8  ounces of Coca Cola classic contains 97 calories and 27 grams, or 7 teaspoons, of sugar.

In comparison, an 8 ounce serving of grape juice contains 152 calories and 36 grams, or 9.8 teaspoons, of sugar!

From this chart, Pineapple, Cranberry, and Apple Juice all have higher calorie and sugar content than Coca Cola

Some Fruit juices contains just as much or more sugar and  calories than soda.

Liquid Calories are Uniquely Fattening

liquid caloriesWhile all foods contain calories, our bodies do not process them the same.

Different foods are processed differently and have differing effects on the hunger hormone levels, feelings of hunger, and the metabolic centers of the brain (67).

Our body has a naturally set weight point, and the brain adjusts feelings of hunger in relation to consumption of solid foods around this (8).

Liquids have a very different effect on our bodies response than solid foods.  They do not promote feelings of fullness or satiety.

Since they do not contribute to feelings of satiety, the brain continues to send messages of hunger and we actually consume more calories than we need (9,10).

This is one of the reasons sugar-filled, high-calorie drinks are often to blame for obesity.

One study showed that a child’s risk of obesity increased by 60 percent for every serving of sugary drink they consumed (11).

Other studies have also proven that overconsumption of fruit juice increases the risk of obesity and Type II diabetes (121314).

Controlled studies proved that consuming sugar in liquid form can cause insulin resistance, raise triglyceride levels, negatively impact LDL cholesterol, and cause accumulation of belly fat in as little as ten weeks (15).

Fructose can be the worst form of sugar

glucose vs fructose

Many people assume Fructose is better for you than the Sucrose in soda since it comes from fruit and  is more “natural”

Actually, Fructose is worse if you consume more than your body needs


Your body burns Glucose for energy, and it is easily stored in muscle cells or as glycogen in the liver.

Your pancreas produces insulin in response to excessive blood glucose levels to signal transport of the glucose to muscles, glycogen storage in the liver, and lastly as storage in fat cells.

Insulin also regulates the production of the “hunger hormone” Leptin, which signals satiety, or fullness to the brain so you stop eating.


Sucrose is about 50% glucose and 50% sucrose (16).

When sucrose is consumed it is easily metabolized to fructose and glucose.  The body uses the glucose for energy and the fructose is metabolized by the liver.


Your pancreas  does not produce insulin  in response to consumption of fructose (17).

Insulin regulates production of the “hunger hormone” Leptin.  Lower levels of Leptin lead to  overconsumption (18).

Fructose is only metabolized in the liver where it is converted into glucose, glycogen, lactate, and triglyceride (19).

About 50% of fructose is converted in liver to glucose for use as energy, with about quarter converted to lactate. 18%  to glycogen, for storage in the liver and 1% to triglyceride.

Too much fructose  can lead to fatty build-up in the liver which can hinder liver function and has been shown to increase risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes (20,21222324).

This effect is even more pronounced for people who are overweight or already suffer from metabolic disorders (2526).

In another study done with actual fruit juice, participants were asked to drink just 16 ounces of grape juice a day for three months.

In that short amount of time, researches noticed increased insulin resistance and waist circumference (27).

A third study showed that drinking 2 or more 8 ounce servings of fruit juice a day more than doubled the risk of gout in women (28).

Consuming too much fructose can be hard on the liver, and  lead to insulin resistance, metabolic problems, and weight gain.

Whole fruit is much more filling

fiber fruit
Drinking a glass of fruit juice prompts VERY different response in our bodies  compared to eating a whole piece of fruit.

While fruit juice does contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for good health, it is not as nutrient-rich as whole fruits or vegetables.

For example, orange juice contains Vitamins C and B1, folate and potassium (29) along with healthy antioxidants (3031).

However, it contains none of the fiber of an orange which makes it a poor choice compared to whole oranges or  vegetables (32).

Fruit takes more effort to chew and swallow, and whole fruit is hard to overconsume since it is very filling (33).

The sugars in fruit also break down during digestion more slowly than those in fruit juices since  the pulp contains a lot of fiber.

Because fruit juice has no fiber and is easy to consume in larger quantities than whole fruit, many people ingest too much sugar.

Whole Fruit Good – Fruit Juice, not so much

Fruit-Salad-BowlDespite the fact that nutrition guidelines state that a serving of fruit juice counts towards the daily recommended allowance of fruit, in many cases it is not a good choice.

While it may seem healthy because it contains fruit, fruit juices are actually more similar to sugary sodas and should be enjoyed only in very small quantities, if at all.

Whole fruit contains more fiber and nutrition, is more filling, and always a better choice than juice.

You might also want to read about Dried Fruit – is it good for weight loss.