The who and why of it all

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Canberra, ACT, Australia
Trying different ways to optimise life health and happiness by eating real food and bulding strength. I used to have migraines every fortnight that would put me out for days. I ate a lot of sugar in it's classic sweet form and in its filling bread/pasta form. I was always tired and weak but never overweight- so I never questioned my diet. Until someone else did. Now I barely ever get migraines, I am strong and getting stronger. I am more active than I have ever been.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Supplement anyone?

Ah supplements. This is a topic I have been pondering since John and I have starting eating paleo. I used to take a multivitamin and some fish oil post paleo- I soon stopped the multivitamin when I realised my diet was fantastic for minerals and vitamins, no need. We eat more fish and shellfish so I only supplement with fish oil on days with no seafood to boost the omega 3 and assist with the ratio. Vitamin D is the only thing I supplement everyday. I do get out side a bit, but not enough really to get the desirable amounts.

I put in a couple of days food into http://www.fitday.com/ and found that I was a little low in salt (easy fix) and calcium. Oh no! I have been told by Mum, Television, School, that calcium is important for my bones, teeth, nails and after some research also blood clotting, nerve function, muscle contraction, blood pressure and acid/base regulation.

So of I go, searching the wonderful Internet for information on calcium. It appears that calcium is in lots of foods, almonds, green leafy veg, coconut milk, oranges etc. BUT only in small amounts. The obvious thing to do would be to add in some dairy, but I am currently dairy free (testing effects of dairy and migraine/sinus probs). I have also read about the insulinogenic effects of dairy- that the protein in dairy plus the carbs cause a huge jump in insulin in the body. This study shows the same jump in insulin when consuming milk as with white bread! http://www.ajcn.org/content/80/5/1246.full.pdf+html

Insulin is needed in the body to help drive the amino acids in to the cells in the muscles. So Insulin is a good thing then? Therefore milk is fine? Apparently not, some studies show that dairy can be linked to insulin resistance http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v59/n3/full/1602086a.html and we all know, well if you don't read some books (Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Taubes are good place to start), insulin resistance = not a good thing. Well after searching through blog posts and comments it seems like no one knows lol. Really though, if your body is healthy- blood sugar in check no issues everything is working optimally, dairy shouldn't be a problem. However, that said, drinking dairy everyday, may lead to insulin resistance which in turn may lead to a not so healthy body... I'd call it a cheat, something to enjoy when I am healthy but not to have as a staple- I think I will leave it at that. The research is confusing!  

So, that was a long trip to make the next point. Calcium from dairy... maybe not. So calcium from supplements them? Maybe not. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729191154.htm ahhhh heart attacks linked to calcium supplementation but not dietry!
And anyway http://jada.ada.org/content/136/6/725.1.full does it really work??

I think I will stick to eating as many nutrient dense foods as possible- some almonds, green vegetables, oranges, coconut milk, salmon, sardine and of course BONE BROTH mmm!

The point: always try to get your nutrients from your diet before considering supplementation. Try the natural, primal, paleo way first and then supplement if necessary. 

1 comment:

  1. fitday data was certainly very interesting when we tried it.

    however, a point we didn't really consider was the appropriateness of RDA's. I have now come across several books/blogsd where the RDA's have been criticised heavily.

    Mainly noting that many of them were put together in a pretty ad-hoc manner (i.e. not really evidence based) and in many cases are really relaying the minimum amount required to avoid dificiences rather than the amount for optimal health. An interesting point to read further about?



    should be treated as an absolute minimum

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