Here is Your Guide to Good vs. Bad Cholesterol


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Cholesterol has been blamed for heart disease for decades. But is it really as bad for you as you think?

New research is in, and cholesterol isn’t the culprit.

But if it’s not the villain the medical community has made it out to be, then what is it?

And what about the differences between “good” and “bad” cholesterol? Here are the basics of what you need to know in this simple guide to good and bad cholesterol.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an essential building block of cell membranes, and without it, we couldn’t survive.

We need cholesterol for these essential bodily processes:

  • Maintaining cell membrane structure
  • Producing hormones
  • Converting sun exposure to vitamin D
  • Insulating nerve fibers
  • Producing bile
  • Metabolizing fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)

Our bodies produce the majority of the cholesterol we need to stay healthy. The liver makes about 1,000 milligrams of cholesterol per day, or 85 percent of the required amount.

The remaining cholesterol comes from dietary sources, but it isn’t necessary to limit your consumption. When you eat higher levels of dietary cholesterol, the liver compensates by producing less. So while cholesterol levels can become elevated, it isn’t in response to what you eat.

Bottom line: Cholesterol, required for basic cellular health, is produced within the liver regardless of how much dietary cholesterol you eat.


What about Good and Bad Cholesterol?

Most people know cholesterol as the “good” HDL kind and the “bad” LDL variety. However, HDL and LDL aren’t even cholesterol! They’re lipoproteins that transport cholesterol throughout the body.

Lipoproteins are made of fats and proteins, and act as little carriages to transport cholesterol to and from the liver. LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, are bigger and carry less weight than HDL, or high-density lipoproteins.

HDL got its reputation for being the good guy because it collects cholesterol from circulating in the bloodstream and returns it to the liver to be broken down. People who believe cholesterol to be a cause of heart disease consider this to be protective.

However, they forget that while the liver breaks it down, it also manufactures new cholesterol each day and sends it back out. So, destroying cholesterol isn’t the endgame.

HDL and LDL are carriers that bring cholesterol to and from the liver in a cyclical rhythm. Neither kind is inherently good or bad.

LDL got its reputation as bad cholesterol because it takes cholesterol from the liver and carries to tissues. This was considered to be bad because it was assumed that this meant cholesterol was going to sit in the arteries to clog them up. However, LDL is really doing the body a favor by delivering cholesterol to the various places it’s needed.

When cholesterol is tested, it’s considered to be a good result when HDL is high and LDL is low, and when total cholesterol is low.

But keep in mind that diet isn’t what influences these numbers, and many other health issues can cause LDL to be high and HDL to be low, including:

Bottom line : HDL and LDL are carriers that bring cholesterol to and from the liver in a cyclical rhythm. Neither kind is inherently good or bad.


When LDL Cholesterol Can Be Problematic

While high LDL isn’t necessarily bad, it can still be an inflammatory marker associated with cardiovascular risk. LDL that is deemed high by laboratory standards can indicate inflammation or other problems in the body.

LDL becomes problematic once it has been oxidized. Oxidation in the body can be compared to the detrimental effects of rust on metal – it slowly erodes over time. This can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, which is still a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to test whether your LDL is oxidized or not. This is why most doctors still associate high levels of LDL with an automatically increased risk of heart disease.

Ultimately, inflammation is the body’s natural and protective response to injury, because inflammation is meant to speed a healing process. When inflammation begins, regardless of the trigger, it’s possible that the liver sends out higher levels of LDL to fortify cells with nutrients and to improve hormone production.

When inflammation continues, however, LDL becomes prone to oxidation. Even if plaque doesn’t accumulate in arteries, long-term inflammation in the body will lead to disease formation, including cancer, autoimmunity, and other chronic conditions.

Bottom line: LDL cholesterol can be problematic if it becomes oxidized or damaged, but there is no easy way to test for this.

How HDL Cholesterol Can Be Helpful

So what do you do if your LDL becomes oxidized? Enter HDL, which saves the day by extracting LDL from artery walls and returning it to the liver for breakdown, reducing plaque build-up.

When your HDL numbers are low, it means there are less carriers to remove oxidized LDL. Increasing HDL is a health-protective measure regardless of what your LDL or total cholesterol numbers are.

This is because HDL also works as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent within the body, both of which are good regardless of what else is going on.

Bottom line: HDL works as an antioxidant within the body, and can help remove oxidized LDL.

Watch this video – LDL Cholesterol level: Your lab results explained

Written by Aimee McNew

Author Bio:

Aimee McNew is a Certified Nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid problems, infertility, and digestive wellness. She ate her way back to health using a Paleo diet, lost 80 pounds, and had a healthy baby after numerous miscarriages. She focuses on simple nutrition practices that promote long-lasting results.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

How to Make Your Own Coconut Yogurt Bites


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

These yogurt bites are made from dairy-free coconut yogurt and fresh, seasonal fruit for a yummy frozen treat.

All you need for this easy, freezer-friendly snack is coconut yogurt and fruit. This recipe uses blueberries and raspberries to create two separate flavors, but you can experiment with other fruit combinations like mango or strawberry.

To make these bites, use a high-speed blender to mix the yogurt and fruit until completely combined. Dollop the mixture into quarter-sized bites and freeze overnight.

The trickiest part of this recipe is transferring the coconut yogurt mixture to the baking sheet without the mixture getting runny.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, freeze the baking sheet for 20 minutes prior to making them, and place a large ice pack underneath the baking sheet to keep it cool while you assemble the bites. This process ensures the mixture stays firm, and will freeze nicely.

Serve the coconut yogurt bites as a cool party treat, pop them as a snack, or add them to smoothies!

Tip: This recipe doesn’t use any added sweetener, but if you want to add some, be sure to substitute with something sticky to ensure the bites hold together. Maple syrup would be too runny, but a ½ tablespoon honey or coconut sugar would work fine.

Coconut Yogurt Bites

Recipe by Megan Olson

These yogurt bites are made from dairy-free coconut yogurt and fresh, seasonal fruit for a yummy frozen treat.

Tools:

  • Food processor or blender
  • Piping bag
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Freezer-friendly container

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut yogurt, divided
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries

Instructions:

For the Blueberry Bites: In a food processor or blender, combine ½ cup coconut yogurt with the blueberries. Process until the blueberries are fully broken down and combined. Swipe down the sides, process again, then transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover.

For the Raspberry Bites: Wash out the blender, and combine the remaining coconut yogurt with raspberries. Repeat the same process above and transfer the mixture to a separate bowl.

Place both bowls in the refrigerator. At the same time, place a small baking sheet in the freezer. Chill for 20 minutes.

Take out the yogurt mixtures, and place each flavor in 2 separate piping bags; line the baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have one, put an ice pack underneath the baking sheet.

Using the piping bags, squeeze out 12 drops per bag ( 24 total), each drop about 1 inch wide.

Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

Remove bites from the parchment paper and place in a freezer-friendly container. Enjoy immediately, or store in the freezer for up to a month.

Watch this video – Easy Frozen Yogurt Bites

Written by Megan Olson

Author Bio:

Megan is the author of the gluten free website, Skinny Fitalicious where she creates easy, low calorie recipes. Megan is also a nutrition practitioner specializing in weight loss. When she’s not in the kitchen or coaching clients, she’s in the gym teaching group fitness. To view more of her work, visit Skinny Fitalicious.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

Fermented Foods Guide – Benefits and How to Eat Them


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

The Easy Guide to Fermented Foods- Benefits and How to Eat Them

Get to know the extraordinary benefits behind fermented foods, and discover the best fermented foods to add to your diet.

What Are Fermented Foods?

The process of fermented foods is pretty simple: they sit or “steep” until bacteria and yeast consume their natural sugars. This creates beneficial acids and “good” bacteria, which benefits your body when you eat it.

The fermentation process was originally used as a way to preserve foods.The lactic and acetic acids created through the process make it difficult for bad bacteria to grow, which makes food last longer without refrigeration.

You’ve probably also noticed that fermented foods taste stronger than many foods, with a pungent or vinegar-like flavor. For example, you can taste the difference between a cup of fresh cabbage versus a bite of sauerkraut (fermented cabbage). This is the bacteria at work, changing the structure of the cabbage down to its flavor.


Benefits of Fermented Foods

The most profound benefit of fermented foods is their impact on the gut and digestion. This is because fermented foods contain an abundant amount of probiotics, which help colonize your gut.

However, recent research shows that the benefits of these cultured foods spans far beyond your stomach. Read on to see what other benefits fermented foods and their probiotics have to offer.

1. Improves Digestive Disorders

If you suffer from digestive issues, a bit of fermented food may go a long way.

Studies show that probiotics help improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, with one study finding that they were just as effective as prescription drugs at keeping symptoms in check.

Other studies show probiotics may also help improve irritable bowel syndrome and have also been able to reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (a fatal bowel condition in infants) by 50 percent.

2. Prevents Bad Bacteria Buildup

There are many things we do on a daily basis that can throw our gut bacteria out of balance, such as taking antibiotics and consuming artificial sweeteners.  When bad bacteria begins to take over in our guts, we might experience a range of poor digestion symptoms, such as bloating and gas.

Eating more fermented foods can help add more good bacteria to your gut to rebalance your microbiome and keep out bad bugs.

3. Soothes Eczema

Studies show that the probiotics found in fermented foods can also benefit skin conditions like eczema. One study showed that women who took probiotics while pregnant had children who were 83 percent less likely to develop eczema.

Another study found that infants fed probiotic-infused milk experienced an improvement in eczema symptoms, compared to those that were fed milk without probiotics.

4. Sharpens Mental Health

Interestingly, probiotics can also improve mental conditions. A review of studies in both animals and humans found that adding probiotics to participants’ diets can improve depression, autism, memory, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and anxiety. Probiotics can also help lower stress levels.

5. Boosts Heart Health

Fermented foods can also help keep your heart pumping strong. Studies show that the probiotics prevalent in fermented foods help break down bile, which can enter back into your bloodstream as cholesterol when not properly broken down.

Other studies show that probiotics can help increase good cholesterol and even reduce blood pressure.

6. Strengthens Immunity

The probiotics found in fermented foods may also help keep bad bugs away by boosting your immune system.

Our bodies produce natural antibodies and immune cells like killer T cells, which help identify and fight infections. Studies show that probiotics help produce these natural defenses, which may defeat colds and infections before they can catch hold.

7. Aids in Weight Loss

It turns out that eating more fermented foods may actually help you shed a few pounds.

One study showed that women who were dieting and took probiotics lost 50 percent more weight in three months than women who didn’t.  Others show that certain probiotics can also reduce belly fat, even at low doses.


The Best Fermented Foods to Eat

Trust us: There’s more than just sauerkraut out there! Check out these other probiotic-rich fermented foods.

1. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from black or green tea and sugar. Don’t worry, the sugar feeds the bacteria, not you. When beneficial yeasts and bacteria form in the tea, it creates what is called a SCOBY, or film at the top of the mixture that is rich in probiotics and enzymes (don’t worry, the SCOBY doesn’t normally come at the top of store-bought kombucha).

You can easily find some at your local grocery store, or you can make your own kombucha at home! Try drinking a serving a day for a dose of probiotics.

2. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that has traditionally been used in northern European cooking. It has a pungent, sometimes slightly sweet flavor that works great with meat dishes, and even stew.

Try this easy, healthy sauerkraut recipe and add a couple of spoonfuls to your dinner a few times a week.

3. Coconut Water Kefir

Kefir is traditionally a fermented milk beverage (like a drinkable yogurt). However, since we’re avoiding dairy here on the Paleo diet, it helps to know coconut water kefir exists, which is simply fermented coconut water.

Add a couple tablespoons to 1/4 cup of coconut kefir water to your diet a few times a week.

4. Non-Dairy Yogurt

Non-dairy yogurts made from ingredients like almond and coconut are great sources of probiotics and enzymes. Plus, they’re an easy way to get a healthy dose of good fats, and they make a great snack!

Try a non-dairy yogurt for breakfast topped with nuts, or have a cup as a snack. You can also try these homemade coconut yogurt bites!

5. Kimchi

Kimchi is similar to sauerkraut, but also contains other veggies, as well as spices and seasonings like garlic, ginger, pepper, and more.

Try this easy gut-healing kimchi recipe and use it to top a stir-fry or spice up a veggie dish.

Watch this video – The Complete Guide to Fermenting Every Single Vegetable

The Bottom Line

Adding fermented foods to your diet can be a tasty, easy way to cash in on the wide range of benefits of probiotics. Add several of these to your diet weekly for best results.

Written by Megan Patiry

Author Bio:

Megan is an inquisitive nutrition and wellness writer harboring an editorial love affair with the decadent and the nutritious. She is a dedicated researcher in all areas of ancestral health, a certified specialist in fitness nutrition, personal trainer, and professional almond milk latte addict.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

Healthy Probiotic Breakfast – How to Make Dairy Free Coconut Yogurt


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Blend up this creamy, dairy-free Coconut Yogurt for a healthy probiotic breakfast or snack!

This dairy-free Coconut Yogurt recipe gives you all the gut-boosting benefits of a fermented yogurt while keeping it 100% Paleo. You’ll only need 3 ingredients – coconut cream, probiotics, and honey.

For the best yogurt, pay special attention to the quality of your ingredients. The coconut cream should be organic and from a BPA-free can. You can also substitute coconut milk with 2 or 3 tablespoons of tapioca flour to thicken, or just use unthickened coconut milk if you prefer a runnier yogurt.

To get the needed gut-friendly bacteria in the coconut yogurt, use a dairy-free, plant-based probiotic with various bacterial strains. The three most important to look for are: Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus casei.

This recipe uses honey as a sweetener, but you can also substitute maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, or even blended fresh fruit if you prefer. Feel free to adjust the quantity of sweetener to your liking. You really can’t mess it up, and it’s so much better for you than store-bought yogurts!

After the mixture is blended well, transfer the yogurt to a glass jar with a lid, and let it ferment in the oven for a full day. Chill for at least two hours, then grab a spoon and dig in! Enjoy it as is, or try serving it with fresh fruit, raw nuts and seeds, or Paleo granola.

How to Make Dairy Free Coconut Yogurt

Recipe by Megan Olson

Blend up this creamy, dairy-free Coconut Yogurt for a healthy probiotic breakfast or snack!

Tools:

  • Food processor or high-speed blender (sterilized)
  • Sterile glass jar with lid

Ingredients:

  • 2 15 oz. cans organic coconut cream, chilled in the refrigerator 4 hours
  • 2 dairy-free probiotic pills with bacterial strains L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus and L. casei
  • 1 T honey

Instructions:

  1. Open coconut cream and separate the liquid from the cream.
  • In a food processor or high-speed blender, add the cream with the probiotic pills and honey. Process on high for 3 minutes until pills are broken down.
  • Check the consistency of the yogurt. If it’s too thick, add a little of the coconut water and blend.
  • Transfer the yogurt to a glass jar and seal with lid.
  • Preheat the oven to 100°F. Place the glass jar in the oven for 24 hours to ferment.
  • Once fermented, remove from the oven, cool and stir the yogurt. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Watch the video – Dairy Free Coconut Yogurt

Written by Megan Olson

Author Bio:

Megan is the author of the gluten free website, Skinny Fitalicious where she creates easy, low calorie recipes. Megan is also a nutrition practitioner specializing in weight loss. When she’s not in the kitchen or coaching clients, she’s in the gym teaching group fitness. To view more of her work, visit Skinny Fitalicious.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

Low vs High Fructose Fruits – High Fructose Consumption Risks


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Low vs High Fructose Fruits – The Difference and Why It Matters

Before you enjoy a big bowl of fruit salad as your next dessert, find out which varieties are high in fructose – and why it matters.

Everyone knows that too much sugar can be detrimental to your health. Even Paleo-friendly sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup, should be used only in moderation.

But fruit is a tricky subject. Are bananas, apples, and oranges a good Paleo snack, or simply too much sugar?

Nutrients in Fruit

Fruits are often loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help to fight inflammation and the oxidation that causes cellular damage. Most fruits also contain a good amount of fiber, which is necessary for a healthy gut and proper elimination.

It’s important to know that certain fruits contain different forms of natural sugars, and these can affect how your body handles it during the digestion process. The two primary types of sugar found in fruits are fructose and glucose.


5 Negative Health Effects of Fructose

Fructose is typically the main source of fruit sugar whereas glucose is more often found in carbohydrate-rich foods like vegetables. Fructose tends to have more negatively associated health impacts, such as an increased risk for weight around the midsection which is considered to be the most dangerous kind.

Here are five common risks of consuming too much fructose.

1. Body Fat

When the body receives glucose, it is quickly processed and sent out to the cells for energy usage. When fructose is eaten, however, a large percentage of it gets converted directly to fat and stored in the cells because glucose is the preferential carb fuel of the body. This can be a direct cause of weight gain.

2. Insulin Resistance and Diabetes

The fructose-to-fat conversion can also tend towards insulin resistance, where the body becomes less responsive to insulin’s attempts to take glucose into the cells, and can even contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

This is closely associated with fructose leading to weight gain since being overweight can independently disrupt ghrelin and leptin, the hormones that regulate appetite.

3. Cardiovascular Disease

Fructose has been targeted as a potential cause for heart problems since it increases triglycerides and other risk factors. An excess of fructose can also increase the size of LDL particles in the blood, which, when oxidized, can lead to the narrowing of arteries.

4. Liver Toxicity

Similar to excessive alcohol intake, too much fructose can induce liver damage by altering metabolism and hormone signaling. When too much fruit is eaten, it can be converted to fatty deposits in the liver, reducing the liver’s ability to function and leading to digestive and detox-related problems.

5. Sugar Addiction

All forms of sugar can come with a hefty side of cravings, but fructose can be especially addictive. This is because fructose affects hormone levels in the brain that are associated with appetite, and can lead to decreased feelings of satiety after meals. This is particularly important, as it is estimated that as much as 10 percent of our daily calories come from fructose sources alone.

Too much sugar, even from fruit, can spike blood sugar and lead to destructive impacts on teeth, gum disease, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and more.


So Is Fruit Unhealthy?

The US Dietary Guidelines recommend one and a half to two cups of fruit daily for men and women who are ages 19 and up. Every form of fruit counts as an actual cup, whether it be canned, frozen, or as 100 percent fruit juice, with the exception of dried fruit, which should be limited to a half cup daily.

The problem with these dietary guidelines is that all forms of fruit are considered equal when certain types and varieties can influence digestion, blood glucose, and even weight differently. Fruit juice, for example, contains little to no fiber and smacks a walloping punch of sugar when compared to consuming a whole piece of fruit.

These guidelines also do not differentiate between fructose or glucose, which should be considered by individuals who could be more sensitive to the effects of fructose, such as those with:


Fructose Levels in Fruits

So how do you know which fruits to eat, and how much is a healthy amount?

As a rule, fruits that are higher in glucose than fructose are digested more easily. These are also less problematic for people with insulin, glucose, hormone, or weight problems.

The following list of fruits shows grams of fructose per 1 cup servings:

  • Limes: 0g
  • Lemons: 0g
  • Cranberries: ½g
  • Raspberries: 3g
  • Clementine: 3g
  • Blackberries: 3½g
  • Strawberries: 4g
  • Nectarine: 5g
  • Peach: 6g
  • Banana: 7g
  • Blueberries: 7½g
  • Medjool dates: 8g
  • Apple: 9½g
  • Pear: 12g
  • Grapes: 12½g
  • Mango: 32g

So how much can you eat? Some research shows that 25 to 40 grams of fructose daily is acceptable. However, it might be more reasonable to keep your daily fruit intake locked into a 5:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit. For example, if you eat five cups of vegetables, you can then eat one cup of fruit.

By making your fruit intake dependent on your vegetables, you won’t over-consume fructose, and you’ll be getting plenty of glucose-based carbs and fiber that helps the body better handle all forms of sugar.

Watch this video – Fruit is BAD?? (7 Serious FRUCTOSE Facts)

Bottom Line

Fructose is a simple form of sugar that can be difficult to digest in large amounts, leading to problems with insulin sensitivity, hormone balance, and cardiovascular disease.

While fruit should be included as part of a healthy and balanced diet, it’s important to remember that sugar in any capacity should be limited. Be aware of which fruits are highest in fructose and remember to eat plenty of vegetables to help offset the risks.

Written by Aimee McNew

Author Bio:

Aimee McNew is a Certified Nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid problems, infertility, and digestive wellness. She ate her way back to health using a Paleo diet, lost 80 pounds, and had a healthy baby after numerous miscarriages. She focuses on simple nutrition practices that promote long-lasting results.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

What is the Best Way to Completely Reverse Gout Naturally?


Click HERE to Find How You Can Eliminate the Pain and Discomfort of Gout Naturally

Completely Reverse Gout Naturally – This Leaf Heals Gout (better than drugs)

In a new study, this leaf was proven to be just as effective as leading gout drugs, but without any side effects.

What’s more, if you’re lucky enough, this leaf may grow wild near you. If not, you can get extracts with the same benefits at your local health food store.

This study was presented in the Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Innovation 2020: Health Science and Nursing.

Very few people have heard of a plant called Acalypha indica L., even if I use its better-known name: anting-anting.

Some people also call it Indian Copperleaf, Indian Mercury, or Indian Nettle.

It occurs naturally in tropical locations like Indian Ocean islands, West Africa, North Africa, and even in India, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. It doesn’t even have to be farmed, and it grows absolutely anywhere with disturbed soil.

It is especially rich in flavonoids, which drew the attention of the researchers responsible for this new study.

In particular, it contains plenty of quercetin and kaempferol, two flavonoids that the team noted have been linked to a reduction in uric acid.

Since uric acid is responsible for causing gout, they thought that anting-anting leaf could be a good candidate as a gout treatment.

To explore this question, they obtained an ethanol extract of anting-anting leaf and enrolled 25 rats in their study.

They divided the rats into five groups:

1. A group that was not given any medication.

2. A group that received allopurinol, one of the most common drugs that doctors prescribe for gout.

3. A group that received 3.15 grams of extract per kilogram of body weight (g/kgBW).

4. A group that received 6.3 g/kgBW of extract.

5. A group that received 12.6 g/kgBW of extract.

The researchers first measured the uric acid levels in all the rats, after which they induced high uric acid levels in all 25 rats by injecting them with caffeine.

They then measured the rats’ uric acid again. They administered the treatments for nine days, during which they kept on measuring the rats’ uric acid levels.

They performed the last uric acid measurements more than a week after the treatments ended.

Based on all this information, they determined that both the 3.15 and the 6.3 g/kgBW doses of anting-anting extract worked to lower uric acid—but the star of the show was the 12.6 g/kgBW dose that was given to group 5.

This amount of anting-anting worked just as well as the allopurinol that was given to group 2. This drug is usually given to people with gout.

The only problem that now remains is that this extract is not commercially available. If future studies confirm these findings on human subjects, it might become available.

Until then, you will have to settle for quercetin and kaempferol, the two flavonoids that are probably responsible for most of the effect.

You can find quercetin in commercially available capsules and in green tea, red wine, onions, apples, and berries.

Kaempferol is abundant in kale, spinach, broccoli, beans, and tea.

But an even simpler way to completely reverse gout naturally is to follow the few little steps explained here…

Gout’s #1 Cause Discovered (completely reverse gout naturally)

If you have been diagnosed with gout, you have probably been told to cut down on acidic food like meat, which is not bad advice.

But a study published in the latest edition of JAMA Network Open reveals the #1 cause of gout. Without addressing this one factor, all other methods are in vain.

The good news is that this factor can be fixed easily, using simple lifestyle changes to completely reverse gout.

A team led by researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School examined previous studies finding that a high blood urate level was the primary causal factor behind gout.

In addition, they reviewed studies showing that high urate levels could be lowered by tackling obesity, unhealthy diet, alcohol consumption, and diuretic use.

These two facts prompted them to examine exactly how many gout cases could be prevented by addressing these four factors. They designed a new study to find out.

They mined the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for data. This is a study of 51,529 male health professionals who were recruited in 1986 and had submitted a questionnaire every two years on their health, diets, and lifestyle habits.

The authors of the new study excluded subjects who had gout at the beginning of the study and for whom information was incomplete. Eventually they had a sufficiently large sample of 44,654 subjects.

They checked which of these subjects developed gout between 1986 and 2015.

1. Obese men with a BMI of 30 and up were 265% more likely to develop gout than those with BMI scores lower than 23.

2. Compared to those with BMI scores below 23, those with a BMI of 25–29 had an increased risk of 90% and those with a BMI of 23–24.9 had an elevated risk of 29%.

3. Diuretic use increased the subjects’ risk of gout by 210%.

4. Men who consumed at least five grams of alcohol per day were 20–110% more likely to develop gout, depending on the amount they drank.

5. Those who ate the perfect DASH diet with vegetables, fruit, low-fat dairy, and very little red meat were 26% less likely to develop gout than those who scored the worst on the DASH diet.

This means that 77% of these gout cases could have been prevented by having a BMI below 25, following the DASH diet, and refraining from diuretics and alcohol.

But here are the most important findings. DASH dieting and abstaining from diuretics and alcohol could have prevented 79% of cases among men with a BMI of less than 23, 69% of cases among men with a BMI of 23–24.9, 59% of cases among men with a BMI of 25–29, but only 5% of cases among men with a BMI over 30.

This shows clearly that weight is the single most important thing you must tackle to prevent gout. If you do everything else right but are still obese, your efforts will most probably be in vain.

But the scientist didn’t actually test for the real cause of gout. Because this cause isn’t well-known. But it’s one that’s very easy to completely reverse gout naturally —so you can cure gout for good, as I explain here…

And if you need to lose weight, you can do that in a breeze using the third element of weight loss. I explain this all here…

Completely Reverse Gout Naturally – The Misdiagnosis of GOUT

Gout is often treated as an afterthought in the medical system. Rather than a stand-alone disease, it is considered a consequence of one or more coexisting diseases.

Doctors therefore tend to focus on the primary disease rather than gout, leaving gout mistreated at best.

But a new study from the University of Gothenburg, Lund University, and the University of Auckland reveals that gout is much more serious than previously thought—and this changes everything about diagnosing and treating it.

The researchers consulted a Swedish population-based health survey to find people with gout and to investigate what co-occurring conditions they had. They were specifically interested in obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other fats, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, pulmonary dysfunction, smoking, and the use of diuretics.

With all of this health data at hand, they could divide their gout subjects into five distinct clusters.

1. Cluster 1 had no serious comorbidities. There were 16,063 people in this cluster.

2. All of the subjects in cluster 2 had kidney dysfunction but none had cardiovascular disease. There were 750 people in this cluster.

3. All of the subjects in cluster 3 had cardiovascular disease and 74% of them were smokers. There were 528 people in this cluster.

4. Cluster 4 had the highest percentage of obese people (34%) and 74% of them had high cholesterol or other fats in their blood. There were 3,673 people in this cluster.

5. In cluster 5, 51% had diabetes, 54% had high blood pressure, and 52% used diuretics. There were 1,043 people in this cluster.

So, what can we learn from this?

1. 73% of people with gout have either no comorbidities or few that are serious.

2. 17% of people with gout have a problem with obesity, cholesterol, or high blood fats.

This does not mean that the people with no or few comorbidities would not have developed comorbidities later, of course. But it does at least serve as a warning to basically healthy people that they should not discount gout as something that cannot happen to them.

This shows that gout is usually a stand-alone independent disease that needs to be addressed on its own.

Watch this video to learn how to completely reverse gout naturally – The BEST Video About Gout Ever Made

For years, we have been helping people to completely reverse gout naturally using the simple lifestyle changes explained here…

The post is from the End of Gout Program created by Shelly Manning. She is an accomplished natural health researcher and writer. She began her work on natural health remedies after suffering years of very painful arthritis.

The End of Gout  program offers natural ways to eliminate the pain and discomfort of gout. Unlike many conventional treatments, this program takes the main contributing factors, such as diet, stress, sleep and lifestyle, and teaches you natural ways to remove them from your life so you can begin to heal your gout from the inside out.

It’s 100% safe and natural and is highly based around science. It even comes with quick relief options for those days when you want to take the risk and cheat. So, if you’re ready to end your gout without having to restrict your diet and spend hours working out every day, here’s what you can expect from The End of Gout.

To find out more about this program, click on Completely Reverse Gout Naturally

Reality of Sugar Addiction + How to Kick the Habit


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Everyone looks for a sweet fix now and then, but are you really addicted to sugar? Here’s how to tell if your sweet tooth is a real problem, and how to quit for good.

Sugar is addictive, fattening, inflammatory, and void of nutrients. However, we overlook sugar’s poorest qualities because it seems harmless, and for the most part, is socially acceptable.

Yet sugar addiction is a legitimate problem and can wreck havoc on your health. So, how do we know when it’s too much?

Is Sugar Really “Addictive”?

While referring to sugar as “addictive” is controversial, research shows that sugar does have an addictive response in the brain.This is because sugar influences dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is part of the reward loop in the brain. When you eat sugar, you feel good, which makes you want to eat even more.

As the pattern continues for you to get those feel-good hits, the brain begins to release lower levels of dopamine because it assumes you’re going to continue getting the steady stream of supplementation.

The problem for many people who’ve come to rely on sugar as their dopamine booster is that “moderation” isn’t possible, and so, like many other addiction rehab programs, it does need to be an “all or nothing” approach.

This is where quitting sugar begins to feel nearly as hard as quitting smoking or other forms of addictive substances. When you quit, the dopamine hit from your sugar intake isn’t there, but the brain can’t make more dopamine fast enough.

As a result, you feel down, perhaps even depressed and fatigued, and your brain begins to send out cravings for sugar because it is well-acquainted with the fact that sugar has been your dopamine booster.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that sugar is good for you – there are far better ways to maintain healthy dopamine levels. Still, handling the cravings when you quit sugar becomes a battle of will. As a sugar detox coach, I’ve seen people succumb to their cravings over and over, only to have a much harder time trying to quit the next time.

An even bigger problem with sugar is that it’s basically 100 percent socially acceptable – and when you do try to quit, people think you’re crazy. “Why aren’t you eating sugar?” “Sweets aren’t that bad for you!” “Just eat it in moderation!”

The problem for many people who’ve come to rely on sugar as their dopamine booster is that “moderation” isn’t possible, and so, like many other addiction rehab programs, it does need to be an “all or nothing” approach.


The Damaging Effects of Sugar

The detrimental effects of sugar are well-proven by research. Sugar has been proven to be problematic for:

This list is far from exhaustive. Sugar has the potential to damage every system in the body, down to the cellular level.


7 Signs You Might Have a Sugar Problem

For some, sugar can be eaten in moderation when rounded out with a healthy intake of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. If you eat a significant amount of vegetables, say, 10 cups per day, a small amount of sugar once in a while will barely make a dent in your overall health, unless you have prevailing or chronic health issues.

But if you barely eat any vegetables, and you eat a diet high in carbohydrates already, then any amount of sugar you add is not in moderation to the rest of your macronutrient intake.

When people say that they eat sugar “in moderation”, they often mean in moderation of itself. Instead of having four sodas a day like they used to, they cut back and have only two instead.

When you’re reducing sugar intake, you also have to boost the things that counter the negative effects it has, like eating more vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids.

So how do you know if you have a sugar problem, and if you need to eat it in moderation or not at all?

You may need to quit sugar completely for a significant amount of time if one or more of the following is true:

You have sugar every single day and start to have cravings/withdrawal feelings within a few hours of missing a typical sugary treat.

You turn to sugar-filled sweets to handle stress.

You think about sugar all the time.

You get immediate headaches if you’re a few hours late in having a typical sugary treat.

You eat sugar daily, but get less than 2 cups of vegetables per day.

You are overweight and eat a high-carb diet.

You have thyroid or other hormone problems and rely on a daily “sugar hit” to ward off depression or sadness, usually in the evenings.

If you can relate to any of the above statements or scenarios, then you may need to make some dramatic changes to alter your dependence on sugar.


3 Steps to Beat a Sugar Addiction

When it comes to quitting sugar, it can feel like an impossible battle. But there are ways to set yourself up for success and to minimize feelings of withdrawal.

1. Eat your nutrients first.

Before you quit sugar cold turkey, you need to boost the nutrients in your diet that will help to support a balanced gut, which will help to minimize sugar cravings and feelings of withdrawal.

While some cravings are produced from the brain’s reliance on sugar for dopamine, other cravings are derived from gut microbes that rely on sugar to survive. In the gut, there is a complex balance of good-to-bad bacteria, and the bad guys rely heavily on sugar, junk foods, and processed carbs.

When you cut these out, the gut bacteria send out strong cravings because it’s literally do-or-die for them. When you understand that cravings are produced as a physiological response within your body – and not only from an emotional need or dependence on it – it becomes easier to mentally fight them.

To pre-support your body’s liberation from sugar, boost fermented foods and add in gut-healing and nourishing items like collagenbone broth, and plenty of vegetables.

Omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in salmon and sardines, are also essential for combating inflammation. Do this for at least a week before you plan to quit sugar.

2. Incorporate dopamine-boosting activities into your routine.

While your brain might be accustomed to getting regular boosts of dopamine from your sweet tooth, there are many other ways to get a healthier fix.

Try one or more of these natural ways increase dopamine levels:

  • Increase your protein intake and eat more of it throughout the day, including for breakfast
  • Walk (or do another aerobic exercise) for 10-20 minutes daily
  • Listen to music, play an instrument, or otherwise engage the right-brained creative center of your brain
  • Get natural sunlight and outdoor exposure regularly

3. Quit cold turkey.

After you’ve boosted the nutrients and habits that you need to replace your sugar-dopamine connection, it’s time to quit for good. For someone who’s truly addicted to sugar, weaning off too slowly will rarely work.

When you’re quitting sugar, you need to quit all forms, and that even includes natural forms of sweeteners like honey and coconut sugar, and in most cases, regular use of stevia.

Even though stevia doesn’t impact blood sugar, for true sugar addicts, stevia can perpetuate the dependence because it still tells the brain it’s getting a sugar hit.

While you don’t have to quit forever, three to six weeks is needed to break the daily reliance on sugar. As they say, it takes 21 days to create a habit, so you need to be completely free from it for at least that long.

 But if you have serious sugar dependence issues or health problems you want to address, longer or even permanent sugar removal is a better approach. Once you’ve removed the initial supply from your life, cravings will go away.

If you find that you’re having trouble sticking to a no-sugar plan, find someone to be your accountability partner, or seek professional nutritional support.

Watch this video – How to Break Sugar Addiction: 7 Steps to Help You Stop Eating Sugar

Written by Aimee McNew

Author Bio:

Aimee McNew is a Certified Nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid problems, infertility, and digestive wellness. She ate her way back to health using a Paleo diet, lost 80 pounds, and had a healthy baby after numerous miscarriages. She focuses on simple nutrition practices that promote long-lasting results.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

How Excess Sugar May Increase Your Risk of Alzheimer’s


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Are Alzheimer’s and sugar linked somehow? Read on to find out how excess sugar may increase your risk of dementia.

Even if you’re actively trying to decrease your sugar consumption, beware — conventional food companies quietly add sugar to nearly every food, making it hard to buy even a jar of tomato sauce without added sweetness.

At the same time, Alzheimer’s rates have been skyrocketing along with obesity and the underlying metabolic syndrome. This may seem like a coincidence, but data suggests there could be a link between excess sugar and Alzheimer’s disease . Since Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in the United States, this is a very alarming issue.

Dr Perlmutter, author of the best-selling book Grain Brain, suggests there are a wide variety of neurological issues attributing to the standard Western diet. Additionally, Harvard University’s Dr. Emily Deans suggests new evidence pointing to correlations between the standard Western diet and smaller brain size.

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a small UCLA study recently revealed how partial memory loss could be reversed. How did researchers do this? By following a Paleo-like template. This landmark study and its supporting data continues to notion that a high-carb/ high-sugar diet may not be good for a a person’s mental health.

And without mental health, what kind of health can we really have?

How Does Alzheimer’s Happen?

One in ten people over age the age of 65 have Alzheimer’s—and those numbers are increasing. As the baby boomers age (the first generation with a high sugar diet for most of their life) the more Alzheimer’s disease grows. From a science perspective, Alzheimer’s is typically seen via problems with memory, judgment, and thinking.

Memory loss and dementia increases with Alzheimer’s and is a result of your brain malfunctioning. While there are some medications to help with symptoms, there is no cure. Genetics play a large factor in Alzheimer’s, but it seems that epigenetics (i.e. your diet and lifestyle) also play a major part in the disease development.

Mechanistically, plaques and tangles appear in the brain and lead to problematic buildups. Scientists are still debating what exactly causes Alzheimer’s, but there are a few different hypotheses.

One of the first guesses was the cholinergic hypothesis, which suggests that the disease was caused by a reduced synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Unfortunately, drugs designed to target this area have not been very successful. Others suggest that mechanisms of cholinergic effects result in large buildup of amyloid, which may lead to an “inflamed brain.”

The most plausible theory describes Alzheimer’s deriving from the amyloid precursor protein binding to a death receptor 6 (DR6) — often found in the affected brain areas.

How Does Sugar Factor In?

So, how does sugar play a role in brain disease? For one, the pathways of diabetes development seem to affect how Alzheimer’s will occur. It also tells us that too much sugar leads to diabetes and is a major red flag.

Some scientific experts believe that burning too much glucose may cause disruption in your brain. This is also why approaches like the UCLA Alzheimer’s study, where a lower-sugar diet was consumed, seem to work—at least so far.

In fact, Alzheimer’s disease was named “type 3 diabetes” because your brain can produce insulin, as well. The catch? Your brain cells need this insulin to survive. And if disruption occurs, your brain cells are at risk.

What Does The Evidence Say?

A 2013 study in The New England Journal Of Medicine found that higher glucose levels may be a risk factor for dementia—even among people without diabetes. Thus, you would never know you were at risk for Alzheimer’s. Additionally, other studies confirm that insulin resistance links to significantly lower cerebral glucose metabolism.

Another red flag is the fact that diabetics lose gray matter more than those who do not suffer from diabetes. Why is this important? This loss of gray matter is a contributing cause of Alzheimer’s.

And if we refer back to Dr. Emily Dean’s article, we will see that there is now evidence that a Western diet is linked to a smaller hippocampus—one of the areas in your brain most affected by Alzheimer’s. Things aren’t looking good for a high-sugar diet here.

Another study from 2013 claims that obesity, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s sum up the overall situation by suggesting that: “the incidence of type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically over the last decades mainly due to Western lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and high calorie diets”.

Similar studies suggest that Alzheimer’s is related to sugar and concludes that: “High-sugar diets are thought to promote weight gain and insulin resistance predisposing to type 2 diabetes.

To aggravate this scenario, it has been consistently shown that type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and both disorders share similar demographic profiles, risk factors, and clinical and biochemical features (e.g. insulin resistance).”

The risk for Alzheimer’s increases with diets rich in sugar. Remember—just because your don’t have diabetes, doesn’t mean you’re not at risk for Alzheimer’s. In fact, one of the best preventative measures for developing Alzheimer’s is switching to a low-sugar Paleo approach.

Watch this video – Understanding sugar’s effect on the brain, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, high blood pressure and diabetes

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of reasons to avoid sugar. However, the neurological risk seems to be the best reason. Since we still don’t completely understand Alzheimer’s disease, it makes sense to take every precaution to avoid the disease.

Industries and politics cause big problems when companies like Coca-Cola spend big money on ads convincing us to consume large amounts of sugar.

If it becomes well-known that sugar can cause brain damage, the economic implications are obvious. Whether you are genetically at risk for Alzheimer’s or not, you should take precautions to avoid developing it. Cutting out the sugar should be step one.

Written by Casey Thaler

Author Bio:

Casey Thaler, B.A., NASM-CPT, FNS is an NASM® certified personal trainer and NASM® certified fitness nutrition specialist. He writes for Paleo Magazine®The Paleo Diet® and Greatist®. He is also an advisor for Kettle and Fire and runs his own nutrition and fitness consulting company, Eat Clean, Train Clean®.

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

Here are the 3 Steps to Stop Your Cravings


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

3 Steps to Stopping Cravings in Their Tracks

Chocolate, bread, pizza, candy…

What was once a favorite treat or a prized meal is now off-limits. Cravings are inevitable.

If you’re one of those rare people who crave carrot sticks, there’s no problem. But for most folks, dealing with cravings is a huge part of life, whether you eat Paleo or not.

I’m going to break down the science behind cravings so we can get some answers.

I’ll give you one spoiler up front – if someone tells you that you just need more willpower, they’re barking up the wrong tree.

We All Crave the Same Foods (More or Less)

When you get hungry, you crave food, but this is different from having a craving.

A craving is defined as a desire for a specific food or selection of foods, but not just food in general.

Even though we are all unique in ways, we’re also scarily the same in other ways.

When large groups of people are studied, their most common cravings are always the same.

Here’s a great infographic that breaks down the common cravings:

What do you notice?

People crave foods that taste good (are highly palatable). Chocolate, salty snacks, foods with additives like MSG, and pizza are all loved by a large majority of the population.

There’s a common myth that people crave foods with nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that they need. The human body is smart, but not that smart. Other than a rare condition called Pica, cravings have nothing to do with wanting specific nutrient . Otherwise, people would crave nutritious foods like spinach much more.

The 3 True Underlying Causes of Most Cravings

Part of the reason there is a lot of muddled results from studies about cravings is because they can be caused by so many different things.

I’ve gone through the most comprehensive studies I could find, and it turns out there are 3 factors that seem to be the most important (by far).

Cause #1: Emotion

I don’t think it’s a shock to anyone when I say that humans, despite valiant efforts by some, are not logical creatures.

We try to make good decisions, and often succeed, but those emotional choices we make often lead to bad decisions. This isn’t limited to just eating choices, either.

Getting back to the topic at hand, many studies have revealed that emotions play a key part in when we start to crave for foods.

Cravings have been linked to:

  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Sadness
  • Guilt

Important note: Emotions vary widely from person to person. Boredom causes cravings in some, but not in others. There are even some people who experience strong cravings when happy.

Why do Emotions Cause Cravings?


The most promising theory so far appears to be reward-based stress eating. The theory is based on the importance of cortisol and other appetite-regulating hormones.

When people get stressed, they release opioids, which are chemicals that relieve pain. It turns out that eating highly palatable foods can also release opioids, which is essentially a reward of eating certain foods. Studies have shown that many cravers feel better after eating what they craved.

It follows, then, that when we experience a negative emotional state, like stress or boredom, we might try to feel better by trying to produce more opioids through eating. It’s possible that the body initiates the craving on its own, or even that they are developed over time as a habit.

Do All Emotions Cause the Same Cravings – No!

Why do we give in to some cravings, but not others?

One of the most interesting findings I came across was that the higher the stress or negative mood, the more likely a person is to give into those cravings, possibly even bingeing.

Cause #2: Restriction

Do you like being told what to do?

If someone tells me not to do something, I almost always do it (I’ve also been told I have the maturity level of a child).

While you might not be as stubborn as I am (or maybe you are), the majority of people have an instinct to be free – to make their own choices.

Many studies have looked at the effects of dieting on cravings. Most dieters change what they eat by cutting out “bad foods” like chocolate and junk foods. This can lead to a “boring” and repetitive diet.

This restriction has been shown to increase craving frequency and intensit. One study found that under monotony (a very restrictive diet), cravings quadrupled.

The Pink Elephant Craving

When I tell you not to think about a pink elephant, do you think of a pink elephant? This classic example illustrates the second problem with cutting foods out of your diet. The less you can have something, the more you crave it.

One study took 129 women and split them into 3 groups: one that was dieting, one that was watching their weight, and one that was not dieting at all as a control group.

The picture below shows the cravings of the 3 groups during the study:

Among the 3 groups, dieters experienced the most cravings (about twice as much as non-dieters).

Special Case: Fasting (This Surprised Me)

So if cutting back on food a little increases cravings, fasting must skyrocket them, right?

Upon closer inspection, fasting is a different beast altogether. Instead of cutting out specific foods, you’re cutting out all foods for a set amount of time. And while you might expect some increase in cravings, fasting actually causes a decrease in cravings. You might want to learn more about intermittent fasting if you’re having trouble with cravings.

Cause #3: Habits (and Triggers)

Ever trained a pet to do a trick by offering a treat? Over time, your pet will automatically do the trick as the reward enforces the behavior. This is an example of classical conditioning.

Humans can also be conditioned:

  • Did your homework? Have a cookie.
  • Ate your vegetables? Have dessert.
  • Want to watch T.V.? Eat your cereal first.

The specifics don’t matter, but just know that people tend to associate foods with events if they occur enough. Note that this can be related to emotions as well (e.g. going through a breakup? Drown your sorrows in ice cream).

Do You Know Your Triggers?

Charles Duhigg, one of the most famous authors on habits, coined the “habit cycle” that is pictured below:

All habits have 3 components: A cue (some call it a trigger), a routine, and a reward.

When we talk about food cravings, the routine is eating, and the reward is the pleasant taste and good feelings. So that leaves the trigger component.

There are a near-infinite amount of triggers in real life, but here are the most common that lead to cravings (and acting on them):

  • Thinking about a certain food (the more vivid, the stronger the craving)
  • Smelling or seeing foods
  • Emotional states (as discussed earlier)
  • Events (e.g. dessert after dinner)
  • Habits can be unlearned, but it is tough.

Ladies, You’re at a Disadvantage…

I can’t say I can relate, but it’s been conclusively shown that women have to deal with some pretty crazy hormone changes during menstruation and pregnancy. These changes cause not only intense cravings, but often some weirdly specific ones as well .

Perhaps one of PaleoHack’s awesome women writers can tackle this specific topic in more depth at some point.

Paleo and Cravings

By definition, eating a Paleo diet will involve a lot of restriction. While there are no relevant studies concerning Paleo and cravings, I think it’s logical to say that this factor alone most likely results in extra cravings. This makes the final section of this article even more important.

How to Handle Your Cravings

You understand that cravings are highly personal things, right?

Because of that, I can’t give you a blanket solution. What I can do, however, is give you a variety of solutions for different problems that cause cravings, and you can pick and choose which ones you think will help.

Option 1: Restricting Foods? Change Your Perspective

I believe this is the most important thing that anyone trying to eat better can do.

Restricting foods is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t cause you to crave excessively and end up bingeing, which is bad for your mental and physical health.

But instead of thinking of it as: “I can’t eat bread anymore,” think of it as “I can eat bread, but I’m choosing not to in order to be healthier.”

And that’s a very simplistic example, but you can start with that and tailor it to your own personal situation.

To make it even more effective, instead of saying something general like “…to be healthier,” think of it in terms of the benefits you’ll receive. For example:

…to have more energy

…to lose weight and feel more confident

…to be sick less often

etc.

If you have extreme issues with negative thinking and cravings, you may want to seek professional help from a therapist. There have been great results shown from using cognitive behavioral modification techniques to reduce cravings.

Option 2: Diet Change? Wait it Out

If you are new to Paleo and are coming from a drastically different diet, you are going to have more cravings than normal. It’s unavoidable, in many ways comparable to withdrawal that addicts face when trying to quit.

However, the bright side is that the cravings will subside in time. One particularly interesting study showed that cravings decrease over time as you adjust to a new diet, and low-carbohydrate (like Paleo can be) diets are easier to get used to.

Option 3: Break or Hijack a Bad Habit

If you know that your cravings are a result of bad habits, you have no other choice but to try and break them, one at a time.

You can either try to break them altogether, or try to replace the “routine” (food being eaten) with a different one, which is often easier.

Long story short, to hijack a habit when you crave a certain food, replace it with a healthy alternative. Each time you do this, a little bit of the craving will be transferred to that new food, until the habit is completely reformed.

Option 4: Compromise/Find a Paleo-Friendly Alternative

Chocolate is the most common craving by far, but does it need to be eliminated from your diet?

There’s definitely a grey area when it comes to cocoa, but most Paleo practitioners are fine with including some in their diet as long as it has no other questionable ingredients.

If you are craving chocolate, have a square or two of dark chocolate (the darker the better). This can eliminate the craving before it gets out of hand and causes you to eat too much.

Many people who eat Paleo think it’s a “boring” diet, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a ton of awesome Paleo recipes that you can experiment with and many Paleo snacks to help fight cravings. Yes it’s more work than ordering a pizza, but think about why you started eating Paleo in the first place – the benefits are worth a little effort.

Option 5: Exercise or Distraction

What do you do when you are exposed to a trigger and can’t stop thinking of a food?

One option is exercise. A fairly recent study showed that participants had a much lower craving response after exercising. Even a quick 5-minute workout can help keep those cravings at bay.

Another option is to distract your mind. While you can’t simply tell your brain to stop thinking about a food, you can get it to think about other things. One study showed that after doing an activity that engaged one of the senses (sight, smell, hearing), the intensity of a craving decreased (see the graph below) 

You could go around smelling other things, or go watch a video. As the graph shows, audio distraction works, but not nearly as well as visual or smelling distraction.

Watch this video – 9 Strategies to Stop Overeating

Summing It Up – Cravings in a Nutshell

Experiencing some cravings is normal, as is giving in to them every once in awhile. Don’t feel bad or beat yourself up if you do give in, just keep trying.

If you think you have an issue with cravings, follow this 3-step procedure:

  • Write down any cravings you have, as well as when, where, and environmental factors when they occur.
  • After a few weeks, analyze your cravings and try to identify the causes of your cravings. See if they fall under one or more of the causes in this article.
  • Select appropriate solutions from above and implement them. Track your progress.

If you do those 3 things, you should see marked improvement in the frequency and intensity of your cravings. This will help you achieve the Paleo diet that you’ve been trying to eat.

Written by Dale Cudmore

Author Bio:

Dale is a nutrition writer, chemical engineer & professional soccer player who sees the results of proper nutrition every day in training and games. Connect with him at DaleCudmore.com

A lot of people have gotten results from the Keto diet, and enjoyed the foods that it has to offer. However, many of the people who are following this diet have a hard time finding the recipes that they need, especially ones that are quick and easy to complete.

Fortunately, Kelsey Ale, noticed this problem, and decided to do something about it. She’s found that making recipes in a slow cooker gives you meals which are not only delicious, but also take very little time to make. Mostly you just put a few simple ingredients in the slow cooker, and let it do the rest.

To find out more, click on – Keto Slow Cooker Cookbook

Here are the 7 Ways Stress Wrecks Your Thyroid


Click HERE to Discover these 80 Keto-Friendly and Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes

Hypothyroidism is a common disorder, and, like many diseases is becoming increasingly prevalent in the 21st Century. In fact, one in eight women will suffer from hypothyroidism at some point in their lifetime, and men who are overweight are also at high risk.

A sluggish thyroid can often be undetected at first, but if it is not addressed, over time it can lead to a number of health problems, such as heart problems, depression, nerve pain in the limbs, infertility and an enlarged thyroid gland or goiter.

While there are many causes for thyroid dysfunction, stress is one of the main reasons why thyroid function slows and hypothyroidism takes root. Your adrenal glands that sit atop your kidneys are responsible for pumping out your stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) when you’re busy, constantly on the go, or working late nights. A sluggish thyroid can lead to heart problems, depression, nerve pain in the limbs, and infertility.

Your adrenals are connected to you via the HPA-axis or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, a dynamic and complex system that governs the body’s homeostasis and reaction to stress. The research is clear that stress slows the function of your hypothalamus – the master hormone conductor of the brain – and your pituitary, which is responsible for controlling thyroid function. 

Stress isn’t just the inability to cope or being too busy. If you suffer from digestive problems (e.g. gas, bloating, etc.), chronic inflammation, poor blood sugar control, poor immunity or autoimmune conditions, these are all “stressors” that impact your adrenal glands and ultimately your thyroid function. 

If we dig a little deeper, we also find that stress inhibits your thyroid gland’s ability to convert the inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active T3 hormone in the body. 

Poor conversion of T4 to the active T3 leads sluggish thyroid function and increased likelihood of hypothyroid symptoms, such as cold hands and feet, weight gain, fatigue, and less frequent bowel movements or constipation.

Is your diet, exercise or lifestyle placing you at risk of hypothyroidism?

Let’s take a closer look at seven common ways stress negatively impacts your thyroid.

1. You’re Too Busy

In today’s 24/7 society, we are constantly on the go and busier than ever before. Stress is not simply the inability to cope, it’s also how “busy” you are throughout the day. While technology and connectivity can provide you with incredible tools to be more productive, it can also leave your brain and body stuck in “stimulation” overload.

(Read: 9 Ways to Beat Chronic Stress)

If you wake up early, hit the gym or prep your kids for school (or both!), are under pressure at work, eat lunch on the run and work late, or rush home to get dinner on the go, it’s easy to see how life has become a 18-hour sprint, every single day.

This leads to constant activation of the body’s “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system, your adrenal glands and the production of stress hormones (e.g. adrenaline and cortisol), which takes its toll on the health of your thyroid. Sometimes, slowing down is the best thing you can do for your health.

2. You’re Too Caffeinated

This is a common theme for many people: you wake up tired, you need a boost of energy and you reach for a morning cup of coffee. While coffee has a vast array of health benefits, you can get too much of a good thing.

When life gets busy and your body is in sympathetic overdrive, you naturally crave caffeine (and sugar) to keep yourself going. One cup a day can quickly lead to two, three or four, and all of a sudden you’re having multiple cups in the afternoon to make it through your hectic day, evening workout or to have enough energy for your family or friends.

(Read: 11 Healthy Alternatives To Coffee)

Too much caffeine lingering in your system leads to poorer sleep quality at night. Remember, the half-life of caffeine (the time it takes to reduce by one half the original value) is about six hours, meaning your 3 p.m. cup of coffee (approx. 200mg of caffeine) will leave you with 100mg in your bloodstream at 9 p.m. and still 50mg at 3:00 in the morning!

While that’s great if you’re hitting the dance floor, it’s not great for deep sleep or the health of your thyroid. Ultimately this leads to more morning fatigue, more coffee, and the cycle continues. Cut off coffee at lunch time to support deep, rejuvenating sleep.

3. You Don’t Sleep Long Enough

You’ve likely heard the old saying “you’re burning the candle at both ends,” which effectively means you’re not resting enough to adequately recover from your busy days. Sleep is the most effective tool you have to “rebuild” the candle you’re burning at both ends during the day. The only problem is, you’re likely not getting enough.

(Read: The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions)

The average person now survives on 6.5 hours of sleep per night, about one and half hours less sleep than our grandparents had two generations ago. 

Over the course of a year, that is 500 hours less sleep than you should be getting (no wonder you’re tired!). The average person gets 6.5 hours of sleep per night, about one and half hours less sleep than our grandparents had two generations ago.

If you don’t sleep enough or fail to adequately recover, stress hormone levels increase and thyroid function beings to slow. Aim to get to bed by 11:00 p.m. most nights of the week to upgrade recovery and support a healthy thyroid.

4. You Check Too Many Emails At Bedtime

We live in an age where watching television on your laptop and checking emails are the norm at bedtime. While this may seem convenient, your brain and body have evolved over millions of years without the stimulation of blue light and Wi-Fi in the evening and the negative repercussions on deep sleep and rejuvenation are significant.

Research shows that exposure to blue light from screens too close to bedtime leads to poorer quality of sleep, impacting recovery and ultimately thyroid health. Turn off your your Wi-Fi devices and steer clear of TV and laptop screens 30-60 minutes before bed to support sleep.

5. You Crave Too Many Simple Carbs

What is the natural response to high stress levels? You guessed it, strong cravings for sugar and simple carbs. Whether it’s high-glycemic cereals or fruit-laden smoothies in the morning, midday snack bars or afternoon treats, constant and regular sugar cravings are a clear red flag your body is stressed, and it’s likely impacting your thyroid health.

Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, or blood sugar highs or lows, deeply impact stress hormones and ultimately thyroid function. Even if you’re a “healthy” eater, you might find on closer inspection that you regularly use sugars throughout the day: maple syrup or honey at breakfast, sweetener in your coffee, constant fruit snacks throughout the day, and nibbling on chocolate before bed. Curb your sugar cravings with snacks with high protein and fat content, like grass-fed jerky and nuts, plain yogurt or an herbal tea before bed.

6. You Drink Too Much Alcohol

After a busy day, long week, or intense project at work many people find it relaxing to unwind with an evening drink. Alcohol is classified as a nervine, or substance that helps to relax the nervous system. While this can support recovery from stress, the key is the dose. A glass of wine might help take the edge off, but if you finish the bottle, your nervous system takes a serious hit. Try cutting out alcohol full stop for 4 weeks, or if you’re an avid drinker, reduce your intake by 50%.

It’s not just the extra calories that are a problem; alcohol also inhibits deep sleep. Your evening glass of wine might turn into two or three and eventually lead to poorer sleep and morning fatigue.

This raises stress hormone levels and cravings for more sugar and caffeine, both significant stressors on your adrenals. This is a classic cycle that exacerbates stress hormones and leads to sluggish thyroid function. Cut out alcohol full stop for 4 weeks, or if you’re an avid drinker, reduce your intake by 50%.

7. You Exercise Too Much

For many people, adding more movement to their day –walking, strength training, yoga – is a great way to relieve stress and improve resiliency. If you suffer from sluggish thyroid function, you may struggle with weight gain and then desire to add more exercise to shed those pounds.

However, if you’re already an avid exerciser, you probably don’t need more exercise, you need more efficient exercise. In general, reducing the workout time and increasing the workout intensity are important principles for those struggling with slow thyroid function.

The problem starts when you add more training volume (i.e., more training days doing the same type of training), in an attempt to lose weight, rather than ramping up training intensity. High volume training at the same intensity can dramatically raise stress hormone levels and doesn’t provide the right stimulus to improve fitness or body composition.

If you’re already a runner, more 5k runs during the week is not the answer. In general, reducing the workout time and increasing the workout intensity are important principles for those struggling with slow thyroid function.

Get the right amount of stress, and you build a resilient body, strong metabolism and healthy thyroid function. However, excess stress is a major contributor to sluggish thyroid function.

The hustle and bustle of modern living, fewer hours of sleep, excess sugar and caffeine consumption and too much pounding the pavement on the training front are all common stressors that can easily overtax your adrenals and ultimately your thyroid.

By creating an environment for rest, recovery and improved resiliency, you can maintain your productivity in today’s fast-paced world without sacrificing the health of your thyroid.

Watch this video – How Stress Causes Hypothyroidism | Thyroid & Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome | Samyuktha Diaries

Written by Dr. Marc Bubbs

Author Bio:

Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.

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