health news: sleep, carbs & gluten

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Deep sleep is critical for optimal health. An inability to sleep well has even been linked to diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Everything that goes on in the body during sleep is not yet understood, but sleep is when the body can optimally repair and regenerate itself. And there are new clues to the importance of sleep and metabolic disorders linked to obesity and  diabetes.

Too little sleep may fuel insulin resistance

 (www.health.com) People who consistently get too little sleep face bigger concerns than daytime fatigue and crankiness. Over the long term, sleep deprivation also increases the risk of serious health problems including obesity and type 2 diabetes.

. . . how much we sleep can affect blood sugar levels, hormones that control appetite, and even the brain’s perception of high-calorie foods.

A small new study, published today [10/15/12] in the Annals of Internal Medicine . . . found [that sleep] impairs the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin, a hormone that regulates metabolism and is involved in diabetes.

In the study . . . After the four nights of sleep deprivation, blood tests revealed that the participants’ overall insulin sensitivity was 16% lower, on average, than after the nights of normal sleep. Moreover, their fat cells’ sensitivity to insulin dropped by 30%, to levels typically seen in people who are obese or who have diabetes.

This is the equivalent of metabolically aging someone 10 to 20 years just from four nights of partial sleep restriction,” says Matthew Brady, Ph.D., the senior author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago. 

. . . Sleep is “as important to your health as a healthy diet and exercise [emphasis mine],” Watson says. “Until somebody invents a procedure or a pill that’s going to approximate all aspects of sleep, really what you’re left with is what is a pretty simple treatment… Just turn off the computer and go to bed earlier.”

Arnaldus de Villanova (c. 1240-1311): De conse...

Arnaldus de Villanova (c. 1240-1311): De conservanda bona valetudine, opusculum Scholae Salernitanae, 1545. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Most modern diets will advise we not eat too many carbohydrates. They can create problems such as insulin resistance as discussed in the prior section, which lead to diabetic conditions, and make it all too easy to gain weight. In addition, the sugar high we get from gorging on carbs can make us addicted.

Carbohydrates are complex sugars, and the study also found that excessive sugar also leads to cognitive decline.

So healthy diets generally stress lean or non-animal proteins and vegetables. A new study from the Mayo Clinic supports the importance of a balanced diet and risks of carb overload.

The important point of the study is that the amount of protein and fat relative to carbohydrate was a significant factor, which means if you’re going to eat a lot of carbs, at least gorge on a lot of protein and fat while you’re at it. Who said life was unfair?

Eating Lots of Carbs, Sugar May Raise Risk of Cognitive Impairment, Mayo Clinic Study Finds

People 70 and older who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and the danger also rises with a diet heavy in sugar, Mayo Clinic researchers have found. Those who consume a lot of protein and fat relative to carbohydrates are less likely to become cognitively impaired, the study found. The findings are published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The research highlights the importance of a well-rounded diet, says lead author Rosebud Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., a Mayo Clinic epidemiologist.

“We think it’s important that you eat a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, because each of these nutrients has an important role in the body,” Dr. Roberts says.

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 Auto-immune, inflammatory, hormonal and other related types of disorders are on the rise. Some say it is the increase in antibiotics in our healthcare and food supply.  Others point to an increasingly toxic environment that affects food, water and air.

These disorders weaken our immune systems and can bring about a host of diseases, including food sensitivities and allergies. High on the list of disease causing foods is gluten.

Say goodbye to gluten: Over 200 clinically confirmed reasons to avoid wheat

(NaturalNews) [An article at] . . . GreenMedInfo.com. . .  contains a list of over 200 health problems, with celiac disease at the top and including many more not normally associated with gluten intolerance. . . 

Negative reports on wheat and other grains have risen considerably in the past decade. . . 

. . . gluten toxicity can result in several other manifestations of poor health, including chronic fatigue and mental disorders. . . leaky gut. . .  obesity and diabetes.

. . . wheat is not the same today. It has been hybrid over time. . . 50 years or so ago, wheat contained only five percent gluten. Today, it is 50 percent gluten [editor's note: that's what happens when we artificially manipulate natural foods for convenience and profit -- think genetically modified foods].

The food industry’s concern for production efficiency and perception of consumer demands has focused on the bottom line with the usual disregard to the negative health consequences of fellow humans. Breads and other baked goods are hastily produced with additives and short cuts that are actually toxic.

. . . There are some exceptions; for instance, most of Europe doesn’t permit chemically bleaching flour to produce white bread. They use sunlight to “bleach” wheat.

. . . Wheat’s gluten toxicity is reduced by sourdough starters properly fermented. . .  A University of Alberta Canadian cereal microbiologist, Michael Gaenzle, suggests that sourdough bread, homemade or from a trusted bakery, may be at least a solution for gluten toxicity.

He referred to a study where recovered Celiac patients suffered no consequences from eating fermented (sourdough) wheat bread for two days. . . 

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