The Meal Matters Most

What Makes Healthy Food Healthy: From a Stress Perspective


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Is sugar a toxin or a stressor?

Peter Attia, MD  in his article on his blog asks the question “Is sugar toxic?”.  Within the article Dr. Attia discusses his belief that while sugar may not be an acute toxin, sugar is a long-term chronic toxin that will slowly kill us. He suggests that what determines how quickly it kills us are the variations in our tolerance levels.  I’m going to suggest that in addition to our (movable internal and external) tolerance levels is our ability to recover and buffer these responses. That these responses vary (not just when but how) and response levels can be altered early in life or regularly during our lives. I’m going to discuss toxicity in the context of synergy, chaos dynamics, hormesis and stress balancing.

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Is it a problem not to eat fruits and vegetables on a ketogenic diet?

Organic market fruits and vegetables

Organic market fruits and vegetables (Photo credit: SalFalko)

I was thinking about this the other day. If our current accepted reasoning for why fruits and vegetables are important in our diet is for their antioxidant content (their ability to counter oxidant stress and free radical damage that can lead to diseases), then the problem with saying they are amiss when excluded in a ketogenic diet, a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates (very few fruits and vegetables) diet, is that when the body goes into ketosis this oxidant balance is in part balanced by the diet amplifying our own level of internal antioxidants.   Did you know we could produce our own antioxidants? We have several pathways and enzymes such as glutathione which when under duress (ketosis is a form of nutrient starvation) it produces more defensive mechanisms, hence greater antioxidant production. So in ketosis, for some, these internal mechanisms are kicked in and dampens the reactive oxygen species that lead to disease. So it is conceivable for those that are on this type of diet may not need these outside sources of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables while on a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet, since it abates oxidants in their own way.

Peter Attia of NuSi doesn’t feel he needs vegetables either, his ketogenic lifestyle diet consists of high fat, protein and just a few fruits and vegetables (see: “What i actually eat” by Peter).  Continue reading