5:2, how about you? (part 2) Talking Health with Dr. Carter

February 26, 2014

Longevity and intermittent fasting, is it right for you?


With health delivery in such chaos and uncertainty, we at Carter Drug Store suggest arming yourselves with the latest up to date information, which hopefully will prevent minimum problems from escalating into major problems. You and your loved ones deserve the best treatment possible to survive in these difficult times.
Jump on the monkey bars!
Intermittent fasting (IF)with high intensity exercise is a powerful combination, bringing about positive changes in our genes as well as in our muscles. Exercise enhances the mechanisms of the adaptive stress response, including the reduction of whole body inflammation and deep cellular detox. Further, evidence shows that exercise is one of the most effective ways to shift the body into a fat burning machine, particularly exercising while in a fasting state. By practicing IF, you are living in a modified fasting state.
It’s no secret that Americans don’t exercise regularly despite the overwhelming evidence of health benefits. Recently, we discussed the direct effects on the brain of regular exercise, now we can add that exercise turns on the adaptive stress response.
(And, there is a connection between the two.) Working out to combat degenerative disease while maintaining youthful biological markers takes us way beyond weight loss and fitness as motivators for exercise.
How can food and supplements help?
Quiet your appetite, and it suddenly becomes much easier to choose the right snack, as opposed to the ‘right now’ snack.” – Chilton
Certain foods and particular supplements support intermittent fasting and trigger the underlying mechanisms of the adaptive stress response. This also means that if you don’t want to undertake the rigors of IF, you can still reap some of the benefits by adding the foods and supplements recommended here.
In this section, we discuss the importance of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, dark chocolate, red wine, and black tea.
We emphasize eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies. The supplements described are resveratrol, quercetin, grape seed extract, pterostilbene, and black tea extract.
Fiber – Because we are eating less, it is especially important to increase fiber intake. Fiber helps us to feel full, but that’s just the beginning. It can lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol, help prevent colon cancer, and discourage hemorrhoids. Further, it encourages the growth of intestinal flora (probiotics). Chilton’s recommendation is to eat 16 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories. That means about 15-32 grams of fiber daily.
These amounts are similar to the recommended amount of fiber intake per day (which is not based on commensurate calories). However, only 3 percent of Americans get enough fiber. Here are some high fiber foods to consider.
Beans are a high fiber bonanza, coming in at about 15 grams per cup cooked. A bowl of chili beans and you’re 1/2-1/3 of the way there. In general, a cup of whole grains contains less than half the fiber of beans. (For example, brown rice has 3.5 grams/cup.) Taking a look at veggies, an artichoke has 10.3 grams; a cup of peas, 8.8; Brussels sprouts, 5. Among the fruit family, berries are a rich source. A cup of raspberries has 8 grams; blackberries, 7.6. Surprisingly, avocados have 6.7 grams per half. Nuts are healthy and have a lot of fiber. (Almonds have 16 grams/cup.)
However, they are expensive calorie-wise: a 1/4 cup serving of almonds = 4 grams of fiber.
Polyphenols – These are plant substances which are rich in a particular type of antioxidant. We are concerned with dark chocolate, red wine, and black tea. In season fruits are also members of this bioactive group. Dark chocolate has become a well known “health food” and imbibers know that the higher the percentage of cacao, the healthier the chocolate.
Studies show the richer darks (60-70 percent cacao) decrease total cholesterol and LDL; decrease sticky blood and plaque formation in the arteries; decrease inflammation; and lower blood pressure. Chilton recommends 1.5-3.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily.
Caveat: Chocolate can interfere with iron absorption. If you’re on an iron supplement, wait at least 2 hours after the chocolate to take the iron.
Red wine polyphenols may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL) and may help protect the lining of blood vessels of the heart. Resveratrol is one substance in red wine that’s gotten attention, and is known to protect against artery damage. The recommendation is one 6 oz glass of red with dinner 3-6 times weekly.
Brewed tea decreases risks associated with heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Bottled and reconstituted teas do not have the same effect. Drink black/green tea, Earl Grey, oolong, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. The polyphenol content of tea can be boosted by adding up to ½ cup fruit juice.
Try pomegranate, cranberry, blueberry, cherry, orange, apple, cider, or Concord grape.
(Continued next week)
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