How to auto-regulate hunger signals
Eating a predominately unprocessed and natural diet will help to regulate your hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for the neuro-regulation of appetite. Assisting in reducing the harm caused by systemic overeating. The modern diet is peppered with foods that confuse the neuro-regulation and can lead to the overconsumption of foods.
I mentioned in a previous blog(see here BLOG #2), in the section on calories, that the global obesity crisis can’t be due to an increase in gluttony but rather the types of foods we are consuming in the industrialised world.
Seemingly miraculous results will come if we substitute refined and processed foods for natural foods.
That is my promise to you.
It’s a case of becoming reacquainted with the foods that we have evolved to eat for 2.5 million years and not the past 100 years.
Of course, carbohydrates would have existed in pre-agricultural times but certainly worth noting a couple of things:
- These wild fruits, berries and vegetables would not have been available all year round, purely seasonal…unlike today!
- The sugar content of fruit 10,000+ years ago would have been lower than it is today. Like it or not, most of the fresh food in our supermarket aisle has been engineered and it’s highly unlikely you or I would ever come across a wild variant of those fruits/vegetables. The fruit has been manipulated to be more alluring by increasing the sugar content….bringing us back for the second and third bite. Historically, the fruit would have been more bitter or sour generally than what we experience today.
- The fruits that would have been in season late summer/early autumn for our ancestors were there to ‘fatten’ us up for winter when food scarcity was heightened. However, winter never comes in today’s world.
Carbohydrates are not an essential macronutrient in the sense that we don’t NEED them from our diet. Any physiological need for glucose can be manufactured endogenously (from the breakdown of glycerol and protein). We NEED fat and protein however, therefore our carbohydrate intake should be suitable for our energy needs. Because carbohydrates are simply fuel and do not perform a functional or structural role in the body.
So if you suspect or know that you’ve been increasing your fat mass over time, it could be that your insulin sensitivity is declining. You might even be somewhat bamboozled because the increase fat mass comes at a time in your life when you’re becoming more health-conscious and even exercising more…so if this is sounding familiar cutting down on the carbs for 30 days will give you insight into who or what is the culprit.
Fat gain can be insidious too. A gradual increase over time will result in not being about to see your shoes by the time middle-age hits. A carb-rich diet or overconsumption of calories can both lead to fat storage and even at a meagre one kilogram a year, it might pass unnoticed. However, by the time your 40th birthday rolls around you might have difficulty seeing your shoes.
But don’t freak out…on the contrary…take comfort in this blog and reap the benefits of cutting out the food that does not serve you.
Jump into Bed with the Devil
Eat more fat!
Unless you’ve been tuning in to the latest health podcasts, reading research papers, and absorbing current health information like a sponge, chances are the bulk of your nutrients and calories are from carbohydrates, and that fat is the devil. Carbohydrates in the form of pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, cakes, pastries and sweets are the mainstay for you. You’ve been told that fat will make you fat and to avoid it like you would syphilis. But fear not, you’re not alone, and I’m here to tell you otherwise.
I’m going to give you the no-nonsense low-down on fat ….
Your body needs fat….period!
It’s an essential nutrient, meaning we as a species we cannot create it endogenously (fancy word for inside the body). We have to get it from our diet. Fats are compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms that exist in chains of varying lengths, shapes and orders. Fat comes in various forms:
- Monounsaturated Fat
- Polyunsaturated Fat
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fat
Monounsaturated Fat is characterised by a single double carbon bond structure for those of you who have an interest in biochemistry….hands up? yeah, I thought so…moving on! Examples of monounsaturated fats are avocado, flaxseeds, nuts and olive oil. Technically speaking fat will contain a blend of fats – olive oil is 75% monounsaturated and14% saturated, and only 11% polyunsaturated. These fats are liquid at room temperature.
Polyunsaturated Fat is characterised by having more than one double carbon bond structure for those of you who have an interest in biochemistry….hands up again? yeah, I thought so…moving on! Examples of polyunsaturated fat are grain products, soybeans, corn oil and peanuts. Polyunsaturated fats include omega 3 and omega 6. I mention these again a little later but we need both omegas for optimal function but its the ratio between the 3 and the 6 which is important also. Too much omega 6 can be detrimental to health, in an ideal world the ratio should be 2:1 in favour of omega 6. The western diet which uses grain (rich in omega 6) for human and livestock consumption has skewed the ratio in a negative way – blowing the ratio out to 14:1. Omega-3s are found in fish, algae, flax and nuts. You also find good portions of them in eggs from chickens that are fed fish or flax meal. There are three forms: ALA (think flax) as well as EPA and DHA (think fish oil).
Saturated Fat is characterised by all their available carbon bonds paired with hydrogen atoms. This boring fact just means it’s a stable fat and can tolerate heat well and is more resistant to becoming rancid, unlike polyunsaturated fats. Example of saturated fat is butter, ghee, tallow, lard, coconut oil. They are solid at room temperature and in my opinion the go-to to cook with…I do also cook a great deal with olive oil.
The cell wall of every cell in your body is comprised of saturated fat so avoiding saturated fat in the diet can have disastrous effects on the cell wall integrity.
Trans Fat This is the fat equivalent to someone at a swingers party having syphilis – avoid! Yes, there are naturally occurring trans fat, but generally trans fat found in highly processed foods are the syphilis of the nutrition world and should be avoided.
We need fat from our diet, and we need an array of different fats. That being said, omega 6 (polyunsaturated) is ubiquitous in the western diet so my advice would be, don’t go out of your way to seek them out.
Now I’m not suggesting you sit back in the recliner sipping on pints of tallow but it’s safe to introduce a spectrum of healthful fats into the diet. This can easily be achieved by adding dressings to your meals, consuming animals products or cooking with fat. By adding good fats into the diet not only allows your body to reap the health benefits but occupies the calorie bandwidth that carbohydrate would otherwise occupy. A reduction in carbohydrate intake/frequency will improve insulin sensitivity and help to regulate appetite hormones. Adding fats and reducing carbs is one of the mechanisms for fat-reduction.
Be healthy, be happy.
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