Studies: Diet Edition

Vol. 3 Diet edition

Eat your way to fertility

Higher levels of folic acid, higher even than recommended, have been associated with lower occurrence of infertility, while antioxidant supplementation appears to have little effect on women regarding infertility, but it does help men in that regard. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help fertility in women, and diets favoring “seafood, poultry, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables” have been shown to increase fertility in women and improve general semen quality.

Diet, fasting, and anti-inflammation

Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) directly inhibits NLRP3, which is a gene that plays a key role in inflammation, which leads to “autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, and autoinflammatory disorders.” BHB is produced by fasting, high-intensity exercise, caloric restriction, or a very low carbohydrate diet. Mice were set up on a ketogenic diet (read my post on that) and the study found that “…results suggest that the endogenous metabolites like BHB that are produced during low-carb dieting, fasting, or high-intensity exercise can lower NLRP3…”

Fats, fats, and more fats!

No link between increased dietary intake of fats and cardiovascular disease. Also, an increasd fat intake is associated with lower mortality. Hurray for the ketogenic diet! “…researchers demonstrated that high carbohydrate intake was associated with an increased risk of mortality, and total fat, as well as individual types of fat, was associated with a lower mortality.” So, higher amounts of carbs can lead to higher mortality rates, but not heart disease. But it gets better for the case FOR fat, “…researchers demonstrated that lowering saturated fats and increasing polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats was associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.”


Slow It Down

Your carbs I mean. One easy way to lose fat and positively change body composition is by using the slow-carb diet. I have mentioned the ketogenic diet before, which is basically a no-carb diet. The slow-carb diet (SCD) is pretty easy to do and stick to for a few reasons.

The SCD is a great diet for people that don’t want their food options to be too restrictive but still want to look, be, and feel healthier. The only food that is restricted on the SCD is high-glycemic carbs. So your white: rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. Manipulation of your blood sugar levels is a great way to lose fat and promote long-term health. Basically, carbs, especially high-glycemic carbs cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which prompts a release of insulin. Eating those foods constantly causes the body to start to develop resistances, which lead to a whole mess of health issues (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight/fat gain). The main staple of the SCD is incorporating low-glycemic foods throughout the day, for every meal.

The makeup of your meals on the SCD will be up to you really, but out of these basic foods: eggs, protein (beef, chicken, pork, fish, beans), vegetables (green leafy veggies are best, so think broccoli, spinach, collard greens, etc.), basically all types of legumes (beans), and pretty much all kinds of nuts. I recommend making your own pool of meals that you can use as go-to meals. Through tinkering and figuring out what works best for your tastes, schedule, and cooking prowess, you should have 3-4 go-to breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Planning ahead this way may seem boring, but knowing more or less what you’re going to be eating will remove a lot of stress from your day.

Some tips for getting the most out of the SCD are:

-Within 30 minutes of waking up, ingest 20-30 grams of protein. Have a protein shake or a smoothie with a scoop of protein powder. Proteins have a high thermogenic effect, which means your body burns more calories digesting protein than either carbs or fat. Protein also helps with satiety.

-Eat slowly. Don’t scarf down your meals. While you don’t really have to count your calories on the SCD, you don’t want to overeat. So eat slowly and let your body tell you when you’ve had enough.

-Have a cheat day every week or so. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, if a ‘cheat day’ is helping you with your nutrition/fitness goals, it’s not really cheating. To get the most out of your cheat day, keep a list of foods you craved during the week.

Remember for any ‘diet’ to really work, give it time and make it a lifestyle rather than just a diet

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