You Are Your Metabolism

Are you ready to make some changes to your diet but just cannot figure our where to begin? There is so much confusing information out there so weeding through one persons interpretation of health vs. another could potentially have you throwing your arms in the air and giving up.  

The topic of organic vs. non-organic, whole foods vs. BLOGdiet-confusionprocessed foods, environmental factors (pesticides, herbicides, radiation, etc.), GMO vs. Non-GMO and “stress” are well known at this stage of the game, particularly to those reading this blog. We have a population seduced by the idea that getting healthy consists of fermented food, supplementation, green drinks, liver detox programs, alkaline water, leafy greens, juicing, nuts and seeds, vegetable and seed oils, high protein, low carb, high fat, no sugar…I mean really…the list is endless. Last I checked there were 857,995 books on health!

It cannot be denied that some people truly experience a sense of wellness in implementing some, if not all, the above suggested approaches to getting “healthy.” However, in my experience these are a couple factors as to why this might be true for some.
1) Most people sold by some of these ideas are coming from extremely deficient diets. When the body is this severely depleted introducing nutrient dense foods is much more supportive to the system. Who can really argue nutrient dense foods are always going to “feel” healthier then processed crap foods?  They are less of a load on the system, not to mention the emotional component around making better choices for our selves.
2) The body’s adaptability to sacrifice long-term health for short-term survival
I will explain it to you as I explain it to my clients. Proper nutrition, and this includes ANY human being, is based solely on one thing: the state of the metabolism. There is no one size fits all! The metabolism, driven and influenced by thyroid function affects every single organ and system in the body.  SO in response to the above question, what we are witnessing in many of these situations is the body’s adaptability to sacrifice long-term health for short-term survival.
2726893_f520One of my favorite quotes by Ray Peat, PhD reads, “Understanding the complexity of the physiology of foods, offers a deeper appreciation of the complexity of the living organism.”
We MUST understand HOW food affects physiology if we are going to undertake the task of getting healthy.
This is a huge topic and the last thing I want to do is perpetuate MORE confusion in regard to what is healthy vs. unhealthy.
As explained by Dr. Ray Peat, PhD, in a majority of his work is true health is dictated by how well your cells are breathing and the rate and efficiency of energy production at the cellular level. Cells form tissues, tissues for organs and organs for the human body. Providing a cell with the appropriate energy within the appropriate environment encourages the health of tissues, organs, muscles, bones and blood.
This may sound complicated however being able to assess and gain a more clear picture of how your body is producing energy and meeting its environment is simple! Click here to learn more about Body Temperature and Pulse.
Why is metabolism and/or thyroid function so important when considering the diet of any one individual?
·      The ability to breakdown and absorb food becomes highly compromised when metabolism is low, leading to malnourishment. The nutrients from food work as catalyst for every chemical reaction in the body.  When nutrients are made unavailable the body cannot support itself and is forced into alternative energy producing mechanisms.  As mentioned above, the body will always sacrifice long-term health for short-term survival. Nutrient deficiencies are an internal stressor and very common in hypo-metabolic states and chronic stress/inflammation.
·      When metabolism is compromised the ability to metabolize glucose into useable energy is compromised. Oxygen (O2) is an essential component in glucose metabolism. When a system is O2 deficient, as is true in hypo-metabolic states, energy is converted into lactic acid. Lactic acid is highly inflammatory and causes the liver to use up stored glycogen as does many other catabolic hormones at play in these processes. The body is dependent on stored glycogen during times of stress. This lack of stored glycogen sets off a vicious stress response in the body, which becomes very difficult to turn off.
How do we begin to nourish and restore the function of the metabolism?

1.    Food frequency and sources are essential in restoring the body’s metabolic function.

Under normal circumstances when a meal is consumed the body will use whatever is needed for immediate energy and store the rest in the liver and muscle tissues for times of need. Under hypo-metabolic conditions, the body is only capable of using what is provided as immediate energy and limited in its capacity to store energy when needed to meet other demands in life.

Eating small balanced meals frequently throughout the day avoids placing additional burden on an already stressed digestive system. The frequency and proper balance of a meal will support blood glucose regulation and prevent the body from having to use alternative energy resources. When these systems shift from alternative energy producing system to the primary adaptive energy producing mechanisms the result is a vicious cycle of excitation within each and every system of the body.


2.    Use easily digestible foods. The very last thing you want when making a conscious decision to get healthy is to spend money on quality foods your body cannot digest. There are A LOT of foods being marketed as “healthy” foods. However, let me remind you about what we were discussing above. A proper diet is based off the state of the individual metabolism.

When the metabolism is being challenged, not all foods are in support of restoring metabolic function. In fact, every single one of the above-mentioned foods contain very specific properties, all of which pose some stress or suppression to metabolic health.

Our goal is always in reducing the load on the body. The most important factor in healing the body is limiting the stress response, as it is essentially impossible to heal at any level when inflammatory processes are chronically activated in the body. Food from the proper resources is exactly what the body needs in order to regulate itself! It is this simple…when the body has what it needs it can meet the demands present in the environment.

What foods are supportive to metabolic health?

Non-inflammatory proteins, healthy fats, roots and fruits. Seems pretty simple right? Well that’s because it is. In spite of the publics hunt for the secret pill, the magic juice, the newest antidote we have found ourselves coming full circle with one of the longest living and most simplified doctrines of all.  To achieve health the body requires a balanced diet containing easily digestible and nutrient dense foods.

Understanding what your body requires for healing and long-term health provides a foundation to not only heal but to maintain health within the world we live in today. How efficiently we are able to produce energy within the body is a survival tool and can be achieved by anyone.

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  1. […] Healthy Metabolism = Health [2014] […]

    January 25, 2015 • 4:25 pm •