My Mercury Journey

evolution rAfter going Primal about two-and-a-half years ago at the age of 66, my life changed for the better. My blood chemistries, weight, and blood pressure improved. Energy has been terrific; gut and bowel functions have been without incidents. At that point, I was not aware of any toxicity built up in my body over my lifetime. I wanted to investigate if any heavy metal toxicity was present from my exposure to mercury as a dentist and as a sashimi lover.
 
Here is my history:
 
As a child and young adult, I had several amalgam restorations placed in my teeth. Who knew? I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Then, while a dental student from the years of 1968 to 1972, I unfortunately handled pure mercury by touching it and unknowingly inhaling its vapors. I still had no idea about mercury toxicity. Regrettably, there was no formal instruction in dental school at that time about mercury hazards.
 
In retrospect, I believe my lifetime exposure began as a dental patient. Then, years of exposure in dental school and continued exposure from eating sashimi at least once a week for the last two decades added to the problem. The raw fish I ate included some of the species I now know to have potentially high levels of methyl mercury contamination.
 
Several years ago, I had the few amalgam fillings in my mouth replaced. Once I began my Primal quest and learned about ancestral nutrition and cellular health, I felt compelled to determine my personal levels of heavy metal toxicity. A few months ago I took a DMPS Provoked Urine Challenge test that was evaluated by Doctor’s Data Inc. Lab. The report from Doctor’s Data identified that I had extremely high levels of mercury, which actually went off the chart. I also had high levels of arsenic and lead. While I couldn’t link my mercury toxicity to any specific manifestation in my body, I knew that mercury could negatively affect my body in numerous ways that were not easily detectable.
 
Here is a detailed review published in March 2014 that documents the way mercury has profound cellular, cardiovascular, hematological, pulmonary, renal, immunological, neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and embryonic toxicological effects. This should open you eyes to the latent threat of this potentially destructive toxin.
 
With all this knowledge, I wanted to rid myself of these high levels of heavy metals. I began an oral detoxification program to chelate mercury, lead, and arsenic from my system using DMPS (dimercapto-propane-sulfonate) as well as various supplements to support the process. DMPS has been shown to be one of the most effective and simplest methods to remove mercury from the body.
 
My first three days of oral chelation resulted in some uncomfortable reactions and side effects. I developed joint aching as if I had the flu. Also, I felt very tired and had itching and rashes on various areas of my skin. Most likely I was mobilizing my storage of heavy metals too quickly. I stopped the oral capsules and allowed the symptoms to recede. Within a week I was back to normal. I then went back to the program with no further complications or side effects. I will complete my chelation program in another 30 days.
 
From this point on, it will be interesting to determine how my overall health continues to improve beyond the improvement I have experienced since my lifestyle changes from more than two years ago. I will report on my continued success.
 
To help my patients with their potential mercury, lead, or arsenic toxicity, I offer my patients the DMPS Provoked Urine Challenge and the DMPS Oral Chelation Program. If you would like information, email me with questions, and I will reply by return email. The company that provides the challenge test as well as the oral chelation program is MercOut, which is run by Bruce Dooley, MD.

I Was Interviewed on Mark Sisson’s Podcast

evolution rMark Sisson is an American fitness author and blogger, and a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. He has written several books, including The Primal Blueprint, which is a classic. Mark Sisson’s website, MarksDailyApple.com, is one of the most viewed websites for Paleolithic-type lifestyle. Mark is also the creator of the Primal BluePrint Expert Certification program. In my opinion, his books and blogs are the most thoroughly researched sources for accurate primal information. I was honored to be interviewed for his podcast, The Primal BluePrint Podcast. Here is the link to that podcast.

The Connection is Impressive

evolution rPeriodontitis and Metabolic Syndrome are manifestations of chronic inflammation. Could there be a causal relationship between the chronic inflammation of gum disease and the chronic inflammation of metabolic syndrome? The answer lies in the fact that practically all chronic diseases start with inflammation on the cellular level. If chronic inflammation could be brought under control, cells might have the potential to heal.
 
Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the teeth is breaking down leading to loss of teeth and spread of infection. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders including high blood pressure, increased belly fat, high blood triglyceride, low blood HDL cholesterol, and increased blood sugar. These disorders lead to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
 
Current research has shown that there is a definite association between metabolic syndrome and periodontitis (Here and Here). A review paper published in April 2015 discussed the relationships between autoimmunity and various chronic diseases, and a paper published in May 2014 described the role of autoimmune responses in periodontal disease.
 
Possibly reducing the markers for metabolic syndrome will also reduce the prevalence of periodontitis.

  • In a paper published in 2009, a Paleo-type diet reduced gingival inflammation, virulent bacteria around the gum tissues, and the depth of gum pockets.
  • In 2012, Ian Spreadbury described how acellular carbohydrates (processed grains and sugars) as well as remnants of harmful bacteria (lipopolysaccharides or LPS) could pass through the intestinal lining to create chronic inflammation.
  • In 2014, a Paleo-type diet was shown to improve the markers of metabolic syndrome.

 
Skeptics, and those who strictly adhere to the proof of randomized clinical trials, will argue that currently there is not sufficient long-term evidence to unequivocally verify a causal relationship between a Paleo-type diet and health. There is much research to be done and to be published in peer-reviewed journals before defined causation could be proven.
 
I don’t know how many years it will take for the scientific community to pronounce, “Now it is proven!” Personally, the current published research is enough to convince me. I believe a Paleo-type diet is part of the lifestyle to choose if you want to become and stay the healthiest your genetic code has designed for you. Embracing a Paleo lifestyle will not only help promote a healthy mouth but also assist in maintaining a healthy body. Heal one cell at a time, and your body will thank you. The backdrop for my conviction is the two-and-a-half million years of our species’ evolution.

Our Kids Deserve a Healthy Mouth

evolution rOur kids have tooth decay NOT because they’re deficient in fluoride.
 
Our kids have bleeding gums NOT because they don’t brush and floss twice a day.
 
The primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because their nutrition is deficient; their drinks are acidic and sugary, their healthy gut bacteria are compromised; and their lifestyles are sedentary. These deficiencies also manifest in childhood as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, skin eruptions, allergies, and a host of other diseases. Improper nutrition and lifestyles early in life sow the seeds for many of the degenerative diseases that plague these individuals in their 40s and older.
 
When it comes to the mouth, brushing and flossing are important. But, most importantly:

  • The avoidance of refined carbohydrates, which is part of a Paleo-type diet, prevents the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and maintains a healthy acid level in the mouth.
  • Essential nutrients and trace minerals from a Paleo-type diet provide a necessary arsenal in the saliva to remineralize teeth, which is a natural 24/7 process.
  • Healthy bacteria in the gut promote healthy bacteria in the saliva allowing normal function in the mouth as well as assisting in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • An active lifestyle of playing outside, rather than sitting in front of a TV or playing video games, improves gut health and metabolism.

 
So, what is a Paleo-type diet?
 
A Paleo-type diet is basically the elimination of ALL foods that contain unhealthy fats and oils; food colorings, preservatives, emulsifiers, and other chemicals; added sugars; grains and grain products; and pasteurized dairy products. A nutrient-dense Paleo-type diet consists of pastured meats along with their healthy fats, wild caught fish (especially salmon, sardines, and shellfish), organ meats (like liver), all vegetables – especially leafy greens (either raw or cooked), fruits – especially dark-colored (like all the berries) in moderation, and raw nuts and seeds in moderation.
 
Our kids will eat the way Mom and Dad eat. Kids learn by example. Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts, almond butter spread on celery sticks, slices of raw cheeses, liver pâté on slices of cucumber, and cut up pieces of colorful sweet peppers. Healthy drinks could include filtered water, unsweetened seltzers, teas without sugar (some local raw honey might be OK), and kombucha (a naturally carbonated tea fermented from healthy bacteria). If they are eating healthy in the home, and if they are given healthy meals and snacks for lunches at school, then whatever minimal cheating they do is not so bad.
 
I have some of My Favorite Paleo Recipes in my blogs. Also, there are many cookbooks on Amazon describing easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes for on-the-go lifestyles.
 
Dental visits should be pleasant. Your children shouldn’t have to be concerned about tooth decay or gum disease if they are providing the nutrients their bodies need to thrive. Kids should clean their mouths appropriately, but they must eat nutritiously. Their mouths will thank them, and their overall health will thank them.

Be Aware!

evolution rFrom everything you have been reading in my blogs, you probably know that I personally live a primal lifestyle. At the tender age of 66, I learned that what I had been doing up until that age was NOT healthy even though I thought I was doing the best for myself. After studying our species’ diverse nutrition and lifestyle over the course of 2.5 million years of evolution, I was able to incorporate most of the good and remove most of the bad in my life. Over the last two-plus years, I have become healthier than I have ever been. Amazing! And, what is good for overall cellular health is good for the mouth.
 
My eating habits now include all pastured and wild-caught animal products from nose to tail, a myriad of vegetables that I didn’t know existed, deeply colored fruits, and some nuts and seeds that I soak overnight. I eat things raw; I eat things cooked and anywhere in-between.
 
The secret for me was to exclude all unhealthy fats and oils, all processed foods, all grains and legumes, all pasteurized dairy, and all added sugars other than some raw honey and grade B maple syrup. I include all spices and herbs in my cooking.
 
But, I have been misled because of misreading some food labels. This is where you might need to be more aware. Here are some examples:

  • I love seaweed, and I include some type of seaweed practically everyday. I went to one of my healthy food stores and was intrigued by the packaged seaweed snacks. The large print said it was organic; so, I decided to try a package. I didn’t stop to read the ingredient label thoroughly. After bringing it home, I noticed that these healthy vegetables were processed in canola and sesame seed oils – not what I want to put into my body. For example, sesame seed oil is 44% polyunsaturated oil with an omega 6 to omega 3 ratio of 138:1. The main biological concern is that this processed oil is a significant source of oxidized fats in my body.
  • I use real vanilla extract for my cooking. I didn’t think about reading the label since it said pure and real next to the word vanilla. When I finally looked at the ingredients, I discovered the brand I purchased used corn syrup as a sweetener – definitely not for me.
  • I like to drink my organic, French Pressed coffee with coconut oil; ghee from grass fed cows; and some organic raw cocoa powder and cinnamon. I thought that cinnamon was all the same as long as it was organic, but that is not the case. There are basically two types of cinnamon – Cassia (Saigon cinnamon is a form of Cassia) and Ceylon. Most organic cinnamon in my health food store is Cassia, which has a large concentration of coumarin. Coumarin in small quantities is not a problem, but it could be toxic to the liver in large quantities. I usually use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in my 2-cups of coffee most days, and that amount could be toxic over time. I learned that Ceylon cinnamon has very little coumarin; so, Ceylon is the only type of cinnamon I buy now.

 
Even if you have eliminated the bad stuff and have incorporated the good stuff, it is still possible to be misled. I wanted to bring this to your attention because overlooking the ingredient label is easy to do. I need to be more diligent; you may also.

Your Dentist Could Save Your Life

evolution rA visit to your dentist may mean different things to different people. But, it could save your life.
 
Many dental offices take your blood pressure at the beginning of each appointment, which I do for all my patients. This may be the first time an abnormal reading is spotted. A high reading may be nothing more than a reading within the normal fluctuation range. However, if you do have undiagnosed high blood pressure, then this could be a wake up call for you to see your medical doctor for further tests and treatment.
 
Also be aware of the white-coat syndrome of hypertension. This frequently is caused by the stress or fear associated with a doctor or hospital visit. Most of the time, this is a transient occurrence because the elevation is due to being nervous. Sometimes it requires further evaluation. This article goes into more detail.
 
Personally, I have white-coat syndrome. Every time I see my MD, my pressure is elevated. Usually by the end of the appointment, it has stabilized. However, when I take my blood pressure at home in a relaxed state, it averages 121/72. If you suffer from this nervous situation, then take your blood pressure at home at various times when you are rested. Average these readings to get a baseline for your resting systolic and diastolic pressures. Here is a link that shows 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) for normal blood pressure fluctuations, for white coat syndrome, and for other anomalies.
 
Statistically, deaths due to hypertension have increased by 62% from 2000 to 2013 based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is estimated that 70 million US adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, but only 52% of those with this disease have their blood pressures under control. In addition, approximately 1/3 of US adults has pre-hypertension, which means blood pressure is elevated and is a risk of progressing to full-blown hypertension.
 
If you have true high blood pressure (hypertension), then it is a significant medical concern because it increases your risk of heart disease, heart failure and stroke. It also can contribute to kidney failure, by weakening and narrowing blood vessels in your kidneys, and to problems with cognition. Here is a table summarizing average resting blood pressures.
 
One risk of increasing the chance of developing high blood pressure is carrying excess body weight. When fat is concentrated around your abdomen, it represents a more serious risk even if you are not overweight. A diet that includes processed sugars and foods is the primary cause for visceral fat around your waist. Research has shown that your waist-to-hip ratio may be an effective measure for assessing high blood pressure risk. In 2008, the World Health Organization wrote a paper on the waist-to-hip ratio.
 
Here is a way to measure your waist and hip circumferences and to calculate your Waist-to-Hip Ratio.
 
Interesting research published in 2014 has demonstrated that dietary sugars influence blood pressure and serum lipids independent of the effects of sugars on body weight.
 
In another article published in 2014, the authors reviewed the literature and concluded that the high consumption of added sugars in the US diet may be more strongly and directly associated with high blood pressure than the consumption of sodium. The abstract stated:
 
“Evidence from epidemiological studies and experimental trials in animals and humans suggests that added sugars, particularly fructose, may increase blood pressure and blood pressure variability, increase heart rate and myocardial oxygen demand, and contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance and broader metabolic dysfunction.
 
Thus, while there is no argument that recommendations to reduce consumption of processed foods are highly appropriate and advisable, the arguments in this review are that the benefits of such recommendations might have less to do with sodium—minimally related to blood pressure and perhaps even inversely related to cardiovascular risk—and more to do with highly-refined carbohydrates.”
 
Increased blood pressure and increased waist-to-hip ratio are two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome has been shown to lead to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2014, a randomized controlled study reported that a Paleo-type diet improved the markers of Metabolic Syndrome. And, here is an article I wrote that goes into more detail about Paleo-type diets.
 
Bottom Line: If your blood pressure is questionable, you need to see your MD. Also, if you have high blood pressure, you already may have (or may be on the way to developing) metabolic syndrome. A Paleo-type diet might improve your blood pressure values as well as your overall health.

Antioxidant Supplements? – Not So Good!

evolution rAlmost everything you have heard about antioxidants in the past may not be true!
 
Unfortunately, some facts that we thought were proven in the past have been invalidated today. For example, we thought that science proved that saturated fats were unhealthy, but recently published meta-analysis articles (Here, Here and Here) have shown that saturated fats from plants and pastured animals are actually necessary and healthy for our bodies.
 
The question then becomes, “Will the facts that science verifies today become false tomorrow?” The answer is, “In some cases, yes!”
 
So, what can we do if we look to science for answers?
 
My personal approach has been to take a broad view – like you would observe at 30,000 feet above the earth in an airplane.
 
For example, if you were seated on a plane before takeoff and looked out the window, you only would be able to see the runway. Once the plane began its ascent, you would see some of the rooftops surrounding the airport. As the plane continued to climb, you now would be able to see some of the roads and waterways making up the city. After the climb and now at cruising altitude, you could make out the mountains, clumps of neighborhoods, and a broad overview of the terrain.
 
My approach to what is best for us as humans is to first take the most comprehensive view. To me, that means studying our species’ evolution over the course of 2.5 million years. The facts of evolution have given me a healthier appreciation of what allowed our species to survive and thrive. Therein lies the truth!
 
The fact that we are alive today is a testament to these truths. Our bodies are complex and intricately designed. Almost always our bodies will function at their peak if given the nutrients and lifestyle from which they evolved.
 
This leads up to supplements. Generally, supplements are not necessary for our body. Nutrient-dense foods usually will be the only nourishment our bodies require to function optimally unless there was a disease that had damaged the body’s ability to perform in a healthy state.
 
Antioxidants are among the most popular health-protecting supplements sold worldwide without prescription. As a society, we think we need to purchase them in huge amounts in order to help rid our bodies of all those bad free radicals that are running around causing harm to our cells.  Research is showing that “it just ain’t so.”
 
Free radicals are molecules or atoms containing an unpaired electron. Unpaired electrons are hungry for another electron with which to pair up. Electrons want to exist in pairs. They are unstable until they get that additional electron from somewhere else so that they can be paired up again.
 
However, free radicals are naturally occurring byproducts of normal functions within the cells of our body. They are formed from the cell’s use of oxygen to produce energy. In turn, these free radicals, in the form of oxidative stress, can signal the cell to make its own homemade antioxidants through the pathway of Nrf2. Activation of Nrf2 can also be stimulated by various nutrients in foods, and this process is critical to our survival.
 
Antioxidants are molecules that are able to donate an electron to the free radical, thus stabilizing the free radical by giving it the extra electron to make a happy pair.
 
If free radicals are unable to get their needed electrons from antioxidants, these radicals can cause damage to the body through oxidative stress, which is associated with ageing, heart failure, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and many other health problems.
 
In the past, science has suggested that the more antioxidants we ingest, the less oxidative stress we have to endure. These antioxidants would donate electrons to the free radicals and neutralize their potential damage. However, antioxidants themselves can become reactive (become a free radical themselves) after donating an electron to a free radical.
 
In the human body there are many varieties of antioxidants present. As I mentioned, we can produce them internally by stimulating the Nrf2 pathway. Also, our body can obtain antioxidants from nutrient-dense foods we ingest from a primal diet. The varieties of antioxidants in our system can buffer each other as they in turn give up electrons to newly formed free radical molecules.
 
As an example, one naturally occurring external source of antioxidants is chocolate. It contains more than 20 antioxidant flavonoids. Once you eat chocolate, its antioxidants have the ability to donate electrons to free radicals in the body. As one type of flavonoid gives up an electron to a free radical, this flavonoid is converted into a free radical itself and becomes reactive, but less reactive than the free radical to which it donated its electron. This reactive flavonoid then receives an electron from another type of flavonoid within the chocolate. This second flavonoid becomes reactive but not to the extent of the first flavonoid. This goes on and on with each successive flavonoid giving up an electron but becoming less reactive. Eventually, the naturally occurring antioxidants in chocolate (in this example) decrease the damage of free radicals in our body.
 
A problem occurs when we take a high-dose antioxidant supplement. For example, taking a high-dose vitamin C supplement provides only one form of an antioxidant. There are no other antioxidants in this supplement to offer the protective give and take by providing extra electrons. The end result could be an abundance of antioxidant molecules of vitamin C that are now free radicals themselves. They have become highly reactive with no means of neutralizing themselves. This creates more oxidative stress.
 
The bottom line is to help your body produce its own antioxidants as necessary and to utilize the antioxidants supplied in nutrient-dense foods. Taking doses of antioxidant supplements could prove unhealthy, resulting in more oxidative stress to your body. Eating a nutrient-dense diet like the primal diet not only could promote activation of the Nrf2 pathway but also could provide numerous varieties of beneficial antioxidants for your cells.

What You Don’t Know Could Harm You

evolution rHave you ever…

  • kissed a person with gum disease? Then you know how it tastes.
  • spoken to a person with gum disease? Then you know how it smells.
  • seen a person smile who has red or swollen gums? Then you know how it looks.

 
Surprising as it may sound, many people with gum disease frequently do not know they have it until the late stages of destruction. Even when it comes to general infection and inflammation in the body, the majority of people don’t know they have them.
 
Let’s talk specifically about the mouth. The sad part is that the majority of individuals only realize they have a problem after their workplace buddies, or friends, or partners start to avoid being close to them. Others only may know that they have a problem after their teeth start to get loose and fall out. Damage that occurs on a cellular level anywhere in the body also affects the entire human complexity, of which the mouth is an intricate part. The mouth is often viewed by the general public as remote from the inner workings of the human body. Yet, the mouth may be the first area where systemic and chronic diseases manifest.
 
As a periodontist for 41 years, the mouth has been my professional area of expertise. The mouth is the portal to the entire human body and all of its inner workings.
 
Obviously, our primal ancestors did not have toothbrushes and did not see a dentist every 6 months, but they had relatively healthy mouths. They hardly ever had gum disease or tooth decay. Today, many people see a dentist every 6 months and also brush and floss daily, but some still have gum disease. Could it be that what we have learned to believe may not be so? Mark Twain put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”
 
Oral health, as well as overall health, is critically dependent on four basic concepts or pillars. If any one of these is not functioning properly, then our body can become jeopardized. Unfortunately, we may not be aware if one of these pillars is out of kilter. The pillars of health include:

  • A nutrient-dense diet feeding our cells and promoting healthy gut bacteria
  • Efficient exercise
  • Restorative sleep
  • Reduction in all forms of stresses and toxins on and in our body

 
A study published in 2012 showed that 47.2% of the adult population over the age of 30 in the United States had periodontitis (which translated to 64.7 million Americans), and an astounding 70.1% of those over the age of 65 had this disease.
 
Periodontitis is more serious than gingivitis, which is inflammation only in the gum tissue. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease where the gums are infected and the bone surrounding the roots of the teeth are breaking down. This disease leads to bad breath, loose teeth, loss of teeth, sensitive teeth, pain, gum recession, and even spread of infection to other parts of the body.
 
“This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had,” said Pamela McClain, DDS, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology at the time of the paper’s publication. “For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country.”
 
So, if you have gum disease, you are not alone. If you have this infection in your mouth, you most likely have chronic inflammation in other areas of your body. Whatever happens on a cellular level anywhere in the body frequently will manifest in other organ systems as chronic disease. Gum disease is another type of chronic disease related to the nourishment we provide our bodies and the lifestyle we lead.
 
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has made specific statements of the prevalence of other forms of chronic disease in the US today.

  • As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—have one or more chronic health conditions. One of four adults has two or more chronic health conditions.
  • Seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2010 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases—heart disease and cancer—together accounted for nearly 48% of all deaths.
  • Obesity is a serious health concern. During 2009–2010, more than one-third of adults, or about 78 million people, were obese (defined as body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2). Nearly one of five youths aged 2–19 years was obese (BMI ≥95th percentile).
  • Arthritis is the most common cause of disability.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, lower limb amputations other than those caused by injury, and new cases of blindness among adults.

 
As I suggested, gum disease is a chronic disease. Embracing a healthy eating lifestyle is congruent with adopting a Primal or Paleo Lifestyle. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, which is one of my four pillars of health, will support a healthy mouth as well as a healthy body. A recently published article confirms that this way of eating can also reverse the risks of metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, and increased fat tissue around the waist), which leads to various life-threatening diseases. Here   Here  and Here
 
So, what should you do if you think you may have gum disease?

  • You should see your dentist or a periodontist to have a thorough periodontal examination to determine if you have a condition that requires treatment.

 
Much of what you do personally to clean your mouth properly and to eat healthy will assist in preventing gum disease as well as other chronic diseases in the future.

Too Many Paleo Diets!

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS     Nutritional Periodontist
April 15, 2015  

evolution rFirst, you must realize that our primal ancestors did not eat the same things. How could they? They lived all over the world in all types of climates with various animals and plants making up their unique environments. Some ate large quantities of protein, some ate large quantities of fats; some ate large quantities of plants. Even today, primal societies around the world enjoy varied diets and exhibit exceptional health. So, how could a Paleo Diet be the same thing for everyone? Impossible.

 

Second, one thing is certain – a Paleo-type diet did not include processed foods, which are ubiquitous in our modern diets. If you exclude these processed “foods”, then practically everything else could be fair game to eat if you could tolerate them and if they were prepared properly.

 

A Paleo-type Diet always excludes:

  • Processed grains (including all breads, pasta, cereals, crackers, pizza, cookies, muffins, popcorn, rice cakes, etc.)
  • Processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, and their aliases (including sodas, candy, anything made with high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, dextrose, beet sugar, fruit sugar, etc.)
  • Commercially over-processed vegetable and seed oils (these include corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and most oils that are liquid at room temperature); however, avocado oil and olive oil are healthy oils.
  • Fats that are hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated as well as commercially processed trans fats and margarine
  • Processed and package foods containing preservatives, emulsifiers, food coloring, artificial ingredients, other chemical products, GMO products, grain products, unhealthy fats, and added sugars of any type)
  • Commercially pasteurized and homogenized milk products

 

So, what can you eat?

  • All animals that eat their natural foods and are pastured or wild caught including their organ meats and their wonderful saturated fats
  • All vegetables either raw or cooked, ideally organic
  • All fruits, ideally organic
  • All nuts and seeds, ideally organic and raw that have been soaked overnight in salty water and dried the next day to remove chemicals that bind to healthy nutrients in the food you eat

 

How to proportion an ideal plate of food

Think about everything you eat and drink at every meal or snack, and visualize this food on a plate – no matter what size or shape of the plate. Include solid foods along with what you may be drinking as part of the total food you are consuming. (For example, a green smoothie is part of a salmon dinner that could include a salad and fresh strawberries.) Here is how all of this food should be proportioned:

  • At least half of the plate should consist of non-starchy vegetables with healthy fats
  • One-quarter or less of the plate should consist of some type of animal protein with healthy fats
  • One-quarter or less of the plate should consist of nuts or seeds or fruit or a starchy vegetable with healthy fats

 

Where to purchase Paleo-friendly foods

  • Most can be purchased in any grocery store. You just need to look, read labels, and be discerning.
  • Local is better than shipped from several hundreds or thousands of miles away.
  • Check out local farmers’ markets for fresh produce and animal products.

 

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Here is How I Exercise

Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS Nutritional Periodontist
April 13, 2015

 

 

evolution rSometime ago I wrote about the 4 pillars of health. I compared them to the legs of a dining room chair. Those pillars are:

  • Nutrient-dense foods
  • Stress reduction
  • Restorative sleep
  • Efficient exercise

 

If any one of these pillars is compromised, then overall health would be in danger – just as if one leg of the chair were broken, the chair would be unstable. What happens on a cellular level eventually affects your entire body. Your mouth is intimately and intricately affected by your overall health.

 

There is significant research that shows (1) how specific methods of exercise are extremely effective in creating the healthiest results and (2) how these benefits might be obtained in the shortest amount of exercise-time.

 

Here is the way I exercise on a weekly basis to get the most from my workout. For your information, I am 68 years old. Based on your physical well-being, you might choose other exercise programs that would be better suited for you.

 

Brief and Intense Strength Training:

Strength training builds muscle strength and improves hormone efficiency that allows your body to function optimally. I do four simple movements that take as little as 10-20 minutes a couple of times a week to gain maximum benefit. These basic movements are: pull-ups, pushups, squats, and planks.

 

I do these four movements twice a week in the privacy and comfort of my home. The only equipment that is necessary is a pull-up bar. I purchased one online and attached it to the doorframe of my bedroom. Here is a source that reviews various doorframe pull-up bars. You also could look up “portable free-standing pull up bars” online to view various manufacturers and models, which could be set up anywhere.

 

Mark Sisson has created four YouTube videos that demonstrate these movements in a progressive manner from beginner to advanced. Here are links to them:

Pull-up. Pushup. Squats. Plank.

 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

HIIT is the ultimate beneficial exercise for your heart, your muscles, your hormones, and your weight. You could perform this once a week for 10-20 minutes in total. You would start with a warm up of 1-2 minutes. Each cycle might consist of (1) 7-30 seconds of all-out-to-exhaustion pedaling on a recumbent bike or sprinting outside, and (2) rest for about 90 seconds to regain your normal breath. This cycle should be repeated for 2-8 cycles. Then, finish with a 1-2 minute cool down.

 

I use a Nordic Track Classic Pro Skier. It is a cross-country ski machine that is set up in my spare bedroom. Usually I use it once a week for 4-6 cycles depending how I feel that day. I warm up by skiing at a slow pace for 2 minutes. Then, I “ski” at the fastest speed my arms and legs can muster for 25 seconds, which puts me out-of-breath and in an anaerobic state.  Then I rest by skiing gently for 90 seconds. That completes one cycle, which I will repeat until done.

 

Dr. Mercola has created a video that demonstrates HIIT using a recumbent bike.

 

Aerobic Exercise

My goal is to exercise about two hours a week doing exercise that will raise my heart rate between 55% to 75% of my maximum heart rate. At that level of effort, I can carry on a conversation while exercising. If I were unable to carry on a conversation, I probably would be in the anaerobic zone of exercising, and that is not where I want to be for this routine. My personal aerobic exercise is riding my Trikke outdoors. It’s great exercise and great fun for me. I try to ride my Trikke (model T78 Deluxe) about 2 or 3 times a week for about 40 minutes. I find the best time of day is just after the sun rises – peaceful and beautiful.

 

 

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