The Whole View

Join Stacy of Real Everything and Dr. Sarah of The Paleo Mom as they bust myths and answer your questions about a nontoxic lifestyle, nutrient-dense diet, Autoimmune Protocol, and parenting.

Welcome back to episode 422 of the Whole View, where it is upside down world again and Stacy is leading this week's show. (0:27)

Stacy has an exciting update on toxins in personal care products and she wants to share some good news.

In everything that is happening in 2020, celebrating good news is very important.

This year, in January or February, Stacy mentioned that there was an actual hearing that moved progress at a federal level.

Then it was sitting in committee, which is what happens when a bill is made.

There are two bills that are passed and are sitting on the governor's desk in California.

California has a lot going on right now, so they aren't yet signed and in action.

Sarah took a moment to acknowledge our West coast listeners.

We are thinking about you, we hope you are safe, and we know that this is a lot on top of what has already been a lot.

Know that you are all on all of our minds - please take care.

California, Oregon, and Washington - we are sending all our love.

Sarah talked to Stacy about the satellite images from the fires.

Stacy is personally donating half of her commission in the month of September to support food access for those who have been displaced from the California wildfires.

She has such a hard time processing all that is currently going on in the world, and giving her time and money is a way that she is able to positively impact the negative.

 

Two Bills in California

California represents one-sixth of the United States economy and passing laws there means that businesses have to abide by those rules. (5:28)

Some brands may decide to come up with two formulas.

However, when Stacy says that there are two bills passed and awaiting approval in California, it is a great sign.

It means that we as US consumers of those materials will most likely benefit from them on almost all products.

So while it is a California bill and not a federal bill, these things are incredible for the benefits of everybody.

These bills have been so important to Stacy and her mission.

We didn't know if and when we would see progress on these, so seeing both of these come up in the last few months has been an incredibly positive lift.

Stacy wants to talk a little bit about both of these bills and what they mean to everybody.

Sarah also has some science to share on this all as well.

If this if your first time tuning in and hearing us talk about toxins in personal care products and you want to learn more about this subject, check out these previous podcast episodes: 290, 331, 339, and 395.

 

Safer Fragrance Bill

The first bill is the Safer Fragrance Bill, which you can learn more about here. (8:05)

This is the first major step towards closing the fragrance loophole.

You have heard us talk about this loophole here before.

When we think about the fragrance loophole, it is not just the toxic ingredients that can be in there.

It is also the ingredients for people with allergens who are trying to avoid things that could cause them personal harm.

This loop prevents them from knowing what is in it because it is literally all hidden under a category called 'fragrance'.

In general, a brand can say that something is proprietary and trademarked as part of its formula and put it all under the word 'fragrance'.

When Stacy is shopping for any sort of product, if the word fragrance is on it - she is out.

Even if a brand says 'natural', it still feels suspect since the brand is choosing not to disclose that information.

Currently, international trade secret laws keep these full ingredient lists secret.

The California legislature is requiring companies to report the fragrance ingredients that have been deemed hazardous by federal government laws and prop 65 or could be potential allergens.

You may still see fragrance and not know exactly what is in some of them.

However, the law is requiring that anything that has been deemed hazardous at all in America is disclosed.

Sarah noted that it is easier for brands to make their products both available for retail in California, as well as nationwide.

If it is disclosed on the product label in California it will have to be on their California Safe Cosmetics website.

You as a consumer, if you are picking something up and it says fragrance, you could then go to that website and see what would be disclosed on that product.

The items will have a prop 65 warning on them and then you would go to the website to see what it is in them from a toxin or allergen perspective.

 

Favorite Safe Brands

Stacy does want to take a moment to mention some brands that they both use that do not include fragrance. (13:33)

They are all scented but from a natural perspective.

The brands that Stacy has come to use and trust are Beautycounter, Primally Pure, Herbivore, and Henry Rose.

Ninty-five percent of what Sarah uses are from two different companies.

Allitura and AnneMarie Skincare are those two brands. 

Sarah would call these both sophisticated crunchy.

They are using science-backed ingredients that are known to improve the health of the skin.

The ingredients in these two brands are plant extracts, natural clays, and there is not a single ingredient on either of their labels that is a wonky chemical.

Those are Sarah's go-to's that her skin responds to.

Sarah noted that there is a bio-individuality when it comes to what our skin responds to.

There are other companies that are doing great work that are keeping their products super clean.

Sarah noted that there are small companies with very high standards about how they source their ingredients.

Just like with any food you consume, be consistent with reading labels.

Formulas change, so be sure to read the ingredients every time.

You can look up ingredients using EWG.

They have a skin-deep database where you can take a picture and scan the barcode of an item to check its safety.

Beautycounter is doing a pop up in Sephora right now if you want to check them out.

Stacy does call this brand out because they are also leading and paving the way in lots of this legislature.

It was their lobbying efforts that brought a portion of this to fruition.

They are also doing safety testing and putting it out there so that other brands can utilize that testing information.

Stacy wants to see the government doing this level of testing as well.

The good news, bad news, on all of this is that it will take companies time to implement these things and to figure out how to be compliant.

We can expect to see this implemented by January 2022.

 

Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act

The other law, that Stacy is even more excited about, won't go into effect until 2025 because it is much more complex. (19:26)

The Toxic-Free Cosmetic Act is the first in the United States since 1938 to ban some additional ingredients.

We are talking about twelve of the worst offenders, frequently found in personal care products.

All of the brands mentioned above, do not have any of these offenders in their products.

It will spur companies to reformulate and remove these harmful products.

This will also bring safer products to the US market.

Stacy will say that a lot of the brands in department stores, already have formulas available for purchase in Europe, without these toxins in them.

There are eleven currently banned under the 1938 law.

The list of banned ingredients includes: Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde, Methylene glycol, Quaternium-15, Mercury, Dibutyl phthalates, Diethylhexyl phthalates, Isobutyl parabens, Isopropyl parabens, m-Phenylenediamine, o-Phenylenediamine, and Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

These ingredients are in most personal care and household products, which is why this won't go into effect for some time.

Our hope is that brands will modify their products for consumers across the US.

However, please be aware that perhaps, companies might sell one formula in California and a different formula to other US states.

We will have to see what happens in a few years.

This is huge news!

Many of you helped to make this a reality.

Stacy mentioned this study that is being done in California.

They are looking for participants, and anyone in California is eligible to participate.

Be sure to look into it!

 

Racial Disparities

There are racial disparities in personal care products. (24:27)

Stacy mentioned the information in this article and the racial disparities in cancer risks, caused by beauty products.

There are many studies, showing how people of color are being exposed at higher rates to these pollutants and toxins that are in hair care products.

The cosmetic products that are marketed to women of color, such as skin lighteners, dyes and hair relaxers, nail polish, contain some of the most concerning chemicals used in cosmetics.

The twelve biggest offenders mentioned above are in these products and are known hormone disruptors and carcinogens.

It is truly incredible to Stacy that we are in the year 2020, and there are marketing techniques that are marketing products that we know are more toxic and unsafe to women of color.

Yet it still happens.

It is not ok.

Stacy is grateful to have found this study that is looking to quantify what is happening.

We have information that we can point to about the type of ingredients that are in certain products.

And we can look at studies that show higher rates of disease linked to using products with these ingredients.

However, until we know exactly what is in products, and what is in people's blood to show what is happening, it is hard to actually do this.

Sarah shared her feelings on how very unfair these marketing practices are.

These products have a 'you don't look right' message behind them, which Sarah feels is so fundamentally wrong and terrible.

Sarah feels that the predatory marketing is so problematic, especially when these products are damaging to health.

There are studies that have tried to correlate this information before, but we need to stop marketing products this way.

It is not ok to rely on these toxic chemicals.

People of color are already disproportionately impacted by environmental pollutants, more likely to have led in their tap water, etc.

There is already so much systemic racism and injustice that is impacting these communities.

It is just another layer on top of that and needs to end.

This is just another piece of this systemic racism puzzle that needs to be addressed.

Sarah is happy to see California wrapping this into their prop 65 warnings.

The skeptic in Sarah is worried that these companies are going to go to another ingredient that is also bad, trading one bad for another.

Stacy reminded Sarah that positive is positive and we are focusing on the good.

There was a study that was done on lupus rates and why we see a higher diagnosis rate in minority women.

We can point to a lot of the products that Sarah mentioned as being so much more harmful than a simple product.

It is a snowball effect of how early are you exposed, how much are you exposed, what are the type of products/ingredients you are being exposed to - to quantify the problem.

There is a problem across the board for everybody.

However, we see that it is extreme on this side.

 

Positive Changes

Stacy mentioned this incredible study that showed how quickly our health can change when we make a switch to safer products. (37:16)

As always, don't look back at something you have done or have used and feel quilt.

We can only focus on what we can do going forward and be aware.

It is never too late to text 'betterbeauty' to 52886 to get your lawmakers to support these when they come up.

There is also something called CEPA Reform that Stacy wants to mention, known as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

If you are in Canada, you can actually sign a petition asking parliament to pass policies that strengthen CEPA by banning harmful ingredients, encouraging transparency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

 

The Worst Offenders - Formaldehyde

Stacy does want to talk about the bad ingredients and why California would choose to ban these. (40:36)

As we look at the worst offenders, it is important to understand what they are and why they are so bad.

We understand that no exposure is a safe amount of exposure for these twelve chemicals.

This is a few different collections of highly related chemicals.

The first four that they are banning are different forms of formaldehyde.

Those four are: Formaldehyde, Paraformaldehyde, Methylene glycol, Quaternium-15. 

Formaldeyhde has been known to be a human carcinogen.

On top of that, it is also an irritant to skin, eyes, and lungs.

It can be found in just about any makeup product that has color.

You can also find it in hair straighteners, nail polish, nail treatments, nail hardeners, shampoos, lotions, soap, and deodorants.

There are multiple roots for absorption through the body with these products, which is another reason why it is so problematic.

 

The Worst Offenders - Mercury

This is crazy that this isn't banned already, but the heavy metal mercury is also on this list. (44:41)

There is this super awareness of mercury in seafood and why we need to pick seafood with lower mercury levels.

Mercury is a neurotoxin.

Sarah explained the way that mercury is absorbed into the body and the impact it has.

In particular, exposure can damage the kidneys and the lungs can cause kidney failure.

Mercury is in a lot of antiaging products, blemish treatments, and skin lightening products.

This is why it is important to double-check the products you are using.

If you would like help figuring out how to avoid them, Stacy would be happy to help point you to some safer options.

 

The Worst Offenders - Phthalates

The next chemical is phthalates and is one of the compounds that are in plastics. (48:02)

There is something well understood about this chemical to be an endocrine disruptor.

They can be easily absorbed through the skin and inhalation.

You can also get them through the oral route as well.

There are two phthalates in particular that are being banned in this new law - Dibutyl phthalates and Diethylhexyl phthalates.

These are some of the best understood.

Dibutyl has been shown to be a developmental toxicant, which means it is toxic to a developing fetus.

It has been specifically shown to harm the male reproductive system, and even cause early puberty in boys.

Diethylhexyl also harms the reproductive system and is also a developmental toxicant. 

It is also classified as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

These phthalates are in a lot of fragranced household products.

Sarah provided examples of these products.

Stacy mentioned a room spray by Primally Pure.

Also, check out this brand of scented trash bags that are free of chemicals.

 

The Worst Offenders - Parabens

The next chemical class is parabens. (58:13)

Parabens are typically used as preservatives.

They prevent the growth of bacteria or fungi that might cause spoilage of a product.

Parabens are well known to be endocrine disruptors.

There are Isobutyl parabens and Isopropyl parabens.

They have the strongest estrogenic activity among all of the parabens that are widely used in personal care products.

The consequence is that they are estrogen mimics.

So they have pretty strong reproductive toxicity, but they are also strongly associated with estrogen-related cancers.

They are found in shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, shower washes, and scrubs.

 

The Worst Offenders - Phenylenediamine

The other ones are m-Phenylenediamine and o-Phenylenediamine, which have fairly strong mutagenic properties. (1:01:22)

They cause mutations in our DNA, which are one of the things that lead to cancer. 

When they are mixed with hydrogen peroxide they have mutagenic properties.

This happens all the time since these are common in hair dyes when you are getting your hair lightened. 

Stacy mentioned that she use to cough when she was getting her hair colored. 

The product would be burning her scalp and then she would be coughing a lot. 

Looking back at that, she was ingesting the steam and the air from these chemicals that were mixing together and her body was telling her it wasn't right.

Sarah noted that there is frequent exposure since people have their color updated as their hair grows. 

There are temporary dyes that aren't as harsh. 

Morroco Method is the brand of hair care products that Sarah uses, and they have henna hair dye options to look into. 

Also, look for organic salons in your area - they will be able to help with product and treatment options.

 

The Worst Offenders - PFAS

The last one on the list is polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are also called the forever chemicals (PFAS). (1:1119)

They have been linked to all kinds of problems.

These chemicals are carcinogenic, immunotoxic, causes liver damage, harm to the reproductive system, and harm to developing fetuses as well.

We think of PFAS as being the thing in Teflon.

It turns out non-stick is something that you would also find in a variety of cosmetics. 

These products include dental floss, nail polish, eye makeup, and facial moisturizers. 

It is called a forever product because it never breaksdown. 

We don't really still know how it builds up in the human body. 

This is one of those chemicals that we need to get rid of in everything.

It needs to be not made anymore. 

Stacy recommends this dental floss.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy feels like we have covered a lot of ground in this show. (1:36:34)

California is paving the way for hopefully the rest of the country to follow suit eventually.

We hope to see both of these bills become formally and officially signed relatively quickly. 

If you are in California, go ahead and shoot him a quick note that you are proud that he is about to sign these into action. 

We are excited to see some progress in this area, especially given how far behind the US is compared to Europe and Canada. 

Thanks for hanging in!

We will be sharing our real thoughts on this topic over on Patreon, so be sure to stop by there

If you have follow up questions, comments, suggestions, compliments, we love hearing from you. 

You can reach out via social media or via email. 

Don't forget to also sign up for our newsletters.

Thanks for listening - we will be back next week! (1:18:26)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 421 - also known as the best episode of our podcast ever. (0:27)

Stacy wants to preface this show by saying that she read an article called, The Racist Roots of Fighting Obesity, several months ago.

This article blew both Stacy and Sarah's minds in the best way.

They both felt very strongly that they needed to continue to tackle the concept of body image and fatphobia.

However, they wanted to continue this discussion in a scientific way.

There is research and science out there showing how absolutely terrible dieting and fat-stigma is, and what that is feeding into this concept of America getting unhealthier over time.

Before we fully jump in, Stacy also wants to say that no matter who you are or what your health situation is there is no judgment in this show.

Regardless of who you are and what your body looks like, this show today is about just that.

This show is about how our body and our weight does not determine our worth.

It does not determine our health.

Ultimately, it is a vessel to carry us through life, which we want to be as full as joyous and wonderful as we can make it.

This is why we do this show - so that you can find ways to healthfully, sustainably, and in a positive way, bring you to your best self.

We ask of you today and are asking ourselves as well, to challenge and reframe your thinking fatphobia.

 

More on the Inspiration for this Discussion

This is a journey that Stacy has been on for her whole lifetime, but has been actively working on understanding fatphobia and how it leads to unhealthiness for a couple of years. (3:44)

There is still so much work for her to do, and so much for her to learn.

She is excited to share this topic with listeners today with a scientific perspective.

We have covered this topic a couple of times on episode 353, 358, and have also touched on this conversation philosophically on many other occasions.

Finding that Scientific American article a couple of months ago had an immediate impact on Sarah when she read it.

The concept that the stigma associated with being overweight or obese is far more harmful, if not the harmful thing, about being overweight or obese.

Sarah noted that Scientific American articles are always so well cited.

The author of the article mentioned above was previously known for her work on the 'Fat Is Not the Problem -- Fat Stigma is', which was released in 2019.

Sarah shared more on Dr. Bacon and the program she created known as Health at Every Size.

She wasn't aware of this field of research until she found Dr. Bacon's first article.

It is really hard to separate out the impact of being overweight/obese versus weight discrimination.

Weight discrimination is experienced across the spectrum.

Sarah became really upset with the information she found because she couldn't help but put this research into the context of her own health journey.

She did want to mention that Dr. Bacon does have two books, which you can learn more about here.

 

Discrimination

Weight discrimination is, by different ways that medical researchers measure this, is the most pervasive form of discrimination. (9:07)

Stacy noted that this is a form of discrimination that is legally allowed.

Despite Sarah's personal experience with weight discrimination, she did not really think of it in terms of this ubiquitous experience.

This form of discrimination intersects with sexism, racism, and classism.

So an overweight woman of color is going to have the layers of discrimination on top of each other.

These are additive layers.

This medical research comes from the intersection between sociology, physiology, and psychology.

To see this written out in a scientific article written out in a scientific journal was really eye-opening for Sarah.

What is really problematic about weight discrimination is that it causes this basic chronic social stress.

Studies have shown that weight stigma is more harmful to health, above and beyond any impact from BMI.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People who experience weight discrimination or perceive weight discrimination, that there is a very strong link between that perception and increased weight.

There have been studies that have looked at this that have shown that people who experience weight discrimination are two and half times more likely to become obese over time, and three times as likely to remain obese and not be able to lose that weight.

It ends up becoming the problem in and of itself.

Over time weight discrimination ends up increasing weight.

This is very problematic because the discrimination is a risk factor for health that then magnifies itself.

Sarah wants to emphasize that this is a really big challenge.

 

Redefining the Problem

There is a stigma that if you are overweight/obese that it is a personal failure. (14:30)

Obesity can be a symptom of something that is going wrong, and this is not something that is well understood.

It means that we need to be looking at a root cause, rather than saying that obesity is itself the risk factor for the thing going wrong, the thing that is going to cause all of these other problems.

The social stress, the mental health challenges, of being discriminated against because of our weight is compounding an issue that is a root cause that we need someone to help us with.

Dr. Bacon used the analogy that it is like blaming yellow teeth for lung cancer, but it is smoking that caused both lung cancer and yellow teeth.

Sarah feels that she could never find another better analogy than that.

Instead of making it a blame game, it is very important for the medical community, health coaches, and fitness trainers, to be looking at resistance to weight loss and/or obesity as a symptom of something else going on.

Also, we need to be able to look beyond weight as being the problem.

Stacy noted, or we need to not think of weight as a problem at all.

One of the things from the research that was really powerful for Stacy was that you can actually be obese and fit.

Stacy is excited to discuss this element from the research in greater detail.

Weight gain is a symptom of numerous mental and physical health challenges.

In general, as a society, we look at that and define that as not healthy or good.

Eating foods that are less healthy for us and/or moving less is not good for us.

However, calling these things out as choices that are making us gain weight does not help the root cause.

This is also creating shame and judgment and desire to want to comfort oneself with less than healthy choices.

Regardless of what weight someone is, how can we get them to enjoy movement?

And if someone is moving, how the science shows that as being the real measure that we can look at instead of weight.

It is important to find research that reframes these things in a way that can truly drive change if we are all willing to focus on that a bit.

Stacy encourages you to read the references that we will mention throughout this show.

It takes time to dive into things and reflect on them and to then process that in a way that you can impact change.

 

Fitness as a Metric

The studies that are trying to separate out weight stigma versus weight and the impact of that on health are really fascinating. (22:59)

This is not an easy thing to do.

It is innovative and fascinating to see the way these studies have gone about this research.

Sarah explained the paradigm between BMI and life expectancy, which was explained in further detail in this episode.

This research indicates that our entire perception of what a healthy weight is is probably not right.

Stacy's point about fitness is 100% spot on.

There was a study published in 1999 in one of the top medical journals, and they actually took the time to separate participants out by fit and not fit categories.

They measured their cardiorespiratory fitness and were looking at all-cause mortality.

The fit people, across the weight spectrum, had the same risk of all-cause mortality.

Unfit in normal weight was still 2.2x higher risk, compared to fit in normal weight.

In overweight is was 2.5x higher, compared to fit.

And in obese it was 3x higher, compared to fit.

So it is the magnification of not being fit, with being obese, that serves as the signal.

But if you look at fitness, it is a far more important determinant of all-cause mortality in the study.

This is because healthy habits are really important, which we have talked about on this show before in the context of intuitive eating.

These habits are really important independent of weight and benefit metrics of health independent of weight.

A lot of this research has shown that by making healthy day-to-day choices, this improves things like cholesterol and blood pressure in everybody.

So when we talk about separating out the impact of weight versus weight stigma on health, it really highlights the things that we talk about on this podcast all the time as health-promoting habits being the important thing.

These studies continue to show that losing weight is not necessary for being healthy.

It is much more important to get healthy to lose weight, rather than to lose weight to get healthy.

Stacy and Sarah both shared their personal feelings and experiences with weight stigma and how they felt when they went to a gym.

There was a study looking at 25,000 men over the course of 10 years.

Based on all of their weight, cardiorespiratory fitness was as strong of an independent predictor of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, compared to that of diabetes or other cardiovascular risk factors.

 

Where Data is Available

For Stacy, she is having all these brain explosions about the base knowledge that is put out there regarding weight and health. (33:21)

Stacy is asking, where is the data that shows that if everyone exercised and ate the exact same that we would all hit this "ideal".

There is no data to show this, and it doesn't exist.

It is hard for us to break this apart because it is so ingrained in the culture.

Stacy realized that our country has a problem when she lost the weight and saw how differently she was treated.

 

BMI

The entire body mass index was never actually developed as an individual indicator, it was never meant to be applied to one person. (35:57)

It was always meant to be used as a way of measuring entire populations.

When you average it out over a population, then you can start to tease apart some of the interesting correlations.

When you apply it to one person, it has a very high likelihood of being incorrect.

This study found that 51% of healthy people are deemed unhealthy by a BMI scale.

So why would we use something that is a coin flip?

The reason why this type of research is important in cardiometabolic disease is because of two reasons.

One, these are the conditions that have been traditionally linked to overweight and obesity.

This is where the pathologizing of obesity is derived.

It is also important because these are chronic health conditions for which we have a number to follow that we know increases risk.

We don't necessarily have a way of quantifying risk for other conditions.

Sarah provided examples for when these markers come into play when it comes to measuring health.

 

Cardiovascular Disease Research

There was one study where they took a group of people and they had a control measuring blood pressure, heart rate variability, and cardiovascular stress. (40:20)

Then they had two intervention groups within the study, using presentation scenarios as the structure for the study.

The study was looking at normal-weight people and overweight people.

Sarah referred people to this source.

They've shown that if you are giving this video presentation where people can see you and you have experienced weight discrimination in the past then you have higher blood pressure, heart rate variability, blood sugar is less regulated, cortisol is going to be higher, and your inflammatory markers are going to be higher.

This is such a fascinating way of separating that effect.

Sarah notes how marked this data is, and why this information is so fascinating.

Again, this is why looking at cardiovascular disease and diabetes is such a great model in which to look because we have established risk factors and measurements that are quantified.

 

Diabetes

With diabetes, studies have shown that there is definitely a link between weight and blood sugar regulation. (43:23)

Sarah wants to emphasize that being overweight is not necessarily the thing that is causing more dysregulated blood sugars.

However, there is a strong association.

The heavier you are, the more likely it is to have dysregulated blood sugars, but the studies show that that is dramatically exacerbated by weight discrimination.

Sarah is not trying to say that having a high body fat percentage is harmless.

What she is trying to say is that the stigma and the weight discrimination on top of that is the bigger effect, or equally problematic effect, as shown by the research.

This makes the intervention point clear.

The intervention point is not to get that person on a diet to lose weight but is instead to get rid of the weight discrimination.

This allows us to break the vicious cycle.

And this is not how this is viewed medically or socially, and this really needs to change.

Sarah referenced this article.

 

Stronger Predictors

There have also been studies that have looked at all-cause mortality and increase mortality risk. (45:46)

One of the studies was called the Health & Retirement Study and the other was called the Midlife in the United States study.

In both of these populations, it was shown that weight discrimination was associated with a nearly 60% increased mortality risk.

It was the stronger predictor of mortality than any of the other things that they could correct for.

In addition, the association between weight discrimination and mortality was stronger than for other types of discrimination.

Sarah referenced this article and this one as well.

These studies that are trying to separate out the impact of weight versus the mental health challenges that come with weight discrimination are far and few between.

However, there are enough to have some systematic reviews and some metanalysis.

They show over and over again that the far more important thing to be focusing on is not the weight itself, but looking at weight as a symptom and looking at it as a root cause.

Studies have shown that things like healthy eating and activity, these behaviors, really only account for about 25% of the difference in health outcomes.

The other 75% are things like socioeconomic status, exposure to environmental toxins, etc.

These elements are stronger predictors and emphasize that the focus on weight loss as a primary focus is not the right way to go about addressing the public health challenges that are these chronic illnesses.

The USDA dietary guidelines and the dietary industry, which is worth 80 billion dollars a year have magnified fat discrimination, fat-phobia, and fat-shaming when the problem is not the weight itself.

The weight may be a symptom of so many other factors, which serve as the intervention points.

 

Healthy at Every/Any Size

The idea behind 'health at every size' or 'health at any size' is that the things that matter are not necessarily going to result in weight loss and that is ok. (49:57)

It is about really looking at the mental health piece, because that mental health piece of body shame is really damaging, and combining that with a healthy diet, movement, sleep, and stress management.

Healthy living requires a comprehensive approach that is looking at day to day choices and healthy diet and lifestyle as a point of self-care in an environment where there is no shame associated with overweight and obesity because that is associated with a symptom and not a personal failure.

Stacy took a minute to circle back to this and encourages listeners to please take the time to read this article.

She also talked about how pervasive diet culture is and how it impacts us.

The judgment and discrimination that comes from fat-phobia contribute to factors that reduce health.

It is a big deal that we have science for this.

Sarah shared the details from this study and this one.

The research shows that a weight inclusive approach translates to better long-term behavior changes.

These people are maintaining a more active lifestyle, they are eating more whole foods, they are making more lasting positive change in their day to day choices.

This is because these people are focusing on health and not weight loss.

Sarah feels that this is the big takehome here.

Taking weight loss out of the equation is beneficial.

That doesn't mean that someone who makes all of these changes won't lose weight, it just means that weight loss is not the goal.

Health is the goal.

Weightloss might go with it, and it might not.

It doesn't matter if it doesn't because health is the goal.

None of this discussion is to take away from the importance of a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet, or getting enough sleep, or living an active lifestyle, or managing stress, etc.

All of these things are still true.

However, instead of implementing these things to lose weight, we are implementing them for the sake of improving health.

 

Reframing Our Thinking

The thing that has really helped Stacy was reframing her thinking. (58:34)

Getting out and being active is enjoyable.

Part of our problem as a society is the way we frame so many healthy choices as being done for weight loss that it can carry a negative, 'this is work' mindset with it.

We lose the ability to enjoy activities.

As a society, we have come to view exercise as an activity, and we view it as a requirement in a negative way.

For everyone in our life, Stacy wants us to reframe (for everybody in our lives, ourselves included), look for the things that bring you joy, and find ways to do more of them.

The more that we can tell ourselves that, the more we will move away from diet culture.

Stacy feels that it takes a long time to lose away from the 'weight loss is the goal' mentality.

It is so ingrained in us that we have to question it and be acutely aware of it.

When you look to simply find enjoyment in what you are doing, it helps to create awareness and bring you back to the moment.

 

Letting Go

Even though Sarah has talked about health as being the priority instead of weight loss that doesn't mean that Sarah isn't someone who wants to lose some weight. (1:03:12) 

Sarah has thirty to thirty-five years of body image to undo in her own head.

She needs to figure out how to drop this and let it go, and not have weight loss as a goal, not have it as a thing.

Sarah puts a lot of effort into a healthy lifestyle and it makes her feel good.

Through diet and lifestyle and functional medicine, she has been able to manage four autoimmune conditions.

These are the things that are important: how she feels, how much energy she has, what her mood is like, etc.

Sarah knows that it is going to be tuff to avoid sliding into the mindset of, "maybe I will lose a few pounds".

However, she wants to find out how to make that thought process change.

Sarah wants to acknowledge that for anybody who has had a health journey that has included weight loss or weight-loss diets, there is a mindset that is drilled into us.

This mindset is not an easy one to shake.

Sarah wants to wrap up with this science with compassion.

She wants to emphasize compassion for herself, compassion for other people who are hearing this and feeling stuck on how to make that mental shift to find body acceptance.

Sarah doesn't have all the answers on how to do this, but she is working on it too.

This process takes a lot of positive self talk to outweigh all of the years of negative self-talk, and this is Sarah's primary self-focus.

Stacy noted that this negative self-talk compiles onto those negative health factors and potentially gaining weight.

Yes, this is a three times higher risk Sarah points out.

 

Weight Neutrality

Every time we think about weight as it relates to how our clothes are fitting or whatever justification you're are telling yourself is the alternative to weight loss - remind yourself what you are actually doing. (1:07:21) 

You are increasing your likelihood to gain weight that will result in a negative health effect.

This is a good way to stop yourself from justifying that self-imposed diet-talk.

Stacy really likes Lindo Bacon's phrasing of being weight neutral.

So the concept of 'health at every size' or 'health at any size' and being positive are sometimes a little far-reaching, or there is judgment associated with them.

Stacy also feels that it sometimes feeds into this new marketing schtick by people of finding another way of this diet culture to reach you.

Focus on healthy habits.

Focus on the healthy exercise options that you can sustainably do regularly.

Ask yourself how you can improve the nutrient density of the food you are eating and reduce things that cause inflammation or don't make you feel your best.

What can we do to be weight neutral?

To just focus on those things that make us feel good that we know are indicators of health and promote healthy living.

Sarah notes that one of the things she sees is cliques of the health at every size/healthy at any size movement as being a license for people to let go.

However, this is not at all what the movement is about, it is about focusing on these things that are important for health, rather than weight.

The science really does show that weight is not a very good indicator of health.

While we didn't have time to dig into this data in this episode, there is data that shows that if you look at cardiovascular disease risk factors, that there is a large number of "normal weight people" who are not diagnosed.

This is because there is an assumption that if you are a normal weight, you obviously have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

And this is a terrible assumption!

This data shows that we have problems from both sides of the spectrum.

Your weight is not a check box to check.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy is so excited to dive into the medical discrimination factor over on Patreon. (1:13:59)

She has seen this play out both personally and within this community.

The education that health professionals are taught is based on weight being such an indicator, and assumptions to make around it.

Sarah makes such a great point that it is not just about misdiagnosis, that it touches on the other side for people who would not be given the proper medical care that they need because a medical assumption is made that they are healthy based on their shape and size.

This is really a problem, and we are doing a disservice to our entire community and where we are right now.

Stacy thinks this has played into this shift since our great-grandparents when we have begun to see so much change in health.

What was viewed as a healthy body for our great-grandmothers has also changed quite a bit.

Judgment and weight discrimination about bodies have increased as people have more metrics for comparison (video, photos, social media, etc.).

Stacy wonders how these changes have played into our society's overall health.

The more judgments and assumptions are made, the more diet culture is built into billions of dollars industry.

It is not a coincidence that the problem is getting bigger and bigger as the diet industry grows.

We all see it in the science.

This is something Stacy has known for a long time but never knew that there was hard data to support the details.

It really does make you need to step back and rethink things.

We have to be vigilant with our thoughts on weight loss because it is so ingrained, and it is hard to shift your thoughts away.

For Stacy and Sarah, their favorite episodes are the ones that break some barriers in their own minds.

They love the episodes that lead them personally to make some kind of change.

This has been one of those episodes for Sarah.

Once she learned these details, she can't unlearn them.

Now that she knows that this has been a field of research to understand that weight is more a problem from a mental health perspective because of weight discrimination than for the weight itself.

Sarah sees the data clearly that highlights the mental health challenges that come with being the recipient of weight discrimination.

She understands that this is the thing that is harmful and can lead to more challenges that can last a lifetime.

Sarah feels that she needs to reevaluate how she talks to herself about weight, and look at how she broadly talks about weight as well.

This is really important information.

She wants to emphasize to our listeners that she doesn't expect this shift to be easy personally.

This is merely being added to the list of internal work that Sarah has to do in a year that has revealed a lot of need for internal work.

Listeners, thank you for sticking to the end.

If you want to hear Stacy and Sarah's real thoughts on this, be sure to hop over to Patreon to check it out.

We thank you for listening and tuning in.

If you have follow up questions or want to hear more on this topic, we would love to hear from you on social media or via email.

Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletters.

We love to connecting with and hearing from you.

And we hope that you enjoyed this show as much as we did!

Thanks for listening!

Welcome back to the Whole View, wait for it - 420. (0:27)

And this week we are talking about CBD, for episode 420.

All jokes aside, we did have a CBD episode at the beginning of March for episode 393.

CBD was something that Stacy had to avoid while working full-time, which is crazy because if you are using a high-quality brand there is 0% THC.

However, Stacy has a security clearance that she didn't want to jeopardize.

She had read about it being good for pain management and reducing inflammation, but as of the last episode hadn't tried using CBD for that.

Recently, Stacy had a flair when they were camping and was able to avoid muscle relaxers, heavy-hitting medications, and being completely down for a week, which is what typically happens.

Once Stacy got the initial inflammation down through a few key strategies, the CBD was able to quickly regulate it.

She was able to get her physical therapy in the pool to continue the healing process and had no other issues.

It was crazy!

So today we are going to talk more about Stacy's pain management, and how she got to know what she needed to do to manage it.

Also, how she has been able to add in more strenuous exercise more recently, which she does attribute to adding CBD into her routine.

Sarah has science on the mechanisms for that, which she will explain more.

If you have pain, keep an open mind and find a way to at least try it.

 

Our Favorite Source

We are partnering with One Farm, the brand that we love for tested, organic, and US-made hemp extract. (3:55)

Because if you are going to try it, we want you to use a brand that will be effective and that is giving you the benefits of CBD that Sarah is going to talk about.

You want to make sure that you use a brand that is tested and safe for you.

This is why we asked One Farm to partner with us, and they are sharing a 15% off code with our listeners.

Stacy recommends a topical CBD treatment as well as consumed, in addition to applying a topical lotion that has the benefits of CBD.

One Farm has an awesome Tumeric lotion, with CBD as the main active ingredient, that Stacy really loves - and it has no orange color to it, don't worry.

Use the code WHOLEVIEW to get 15% off your order using this website link.

If you want to know more about the basics of CBD and more about this brand, be sure to also reference our podcast episode 393.

Sarah has been using One Farm for a long time and they check all the boxes for her.

What inspired her to try CBD was a bunch of questions she received in a session regarding pain management.

At the time she hadn't dug into the science in-depth, but the interest in this topic sparked Sarah to dig deep into the research.

The research essentially talked Sarah into trying it, and she chose One Farm because they are US based, USDA organic, and they do all the right things to ensure the highest quality.

Sarah briefly explained the difference between THC and CBD.

Fibromyalgia pain is really what brought Sarah to incorporate CBD, but she found that it was also so beneficial for her sleep and anxiety.

 

Stacy's Experience

Very similarily to Sarah, Stacy started with just using it occasionally for when she felt like she needed it. (12:12)

She focused on using it for anxiety, as Stacy didn't think it would help with pain management.

Truthfully, in the beginning, Stacy felt very skeptical of using CBD.

However, after recording episode 393, Stacy realized that it might be more beneficial to begin using it on a regular basis.

Stacy is going to share her personal experience and share the specifics of her regimen.

But please remember, we are not medical professionals.

CBD is a supplement and is not tested or approved as a drug by the FDA, while One Farm is unique in it's USDA organic farming certification.

For a bit of background, Stacy was a competitive lifter and she was Northern Virginia's Strongest Woman.

She competed in the sport of Strongman.

Stacy was working in the garden and took on an in-the-moment physical challenge, which led to a lower back injury.

She went through a whole bunch of doctors and physical therapy for years.

However, it essentially got to the point when the doctor said there was nothing they could do unless Stacy wanted to have surgery.

Surgery would have only led to an 80% recovery, and Stacy was told that she would not be able to lift heavy weights again.

Over the last couple of years, Stacy has been able to get herself to 95%, where she very rarely has a flair and doesn't experience consistent pain like she use to.

Water aerobics and red-light therapy brought some good results, which allowed Stacy to start riding her Peloton bike.

It was also around that time that she begin taking CBD every day.

She doesn't have any pain, all the time, anymore - which is a big deal for Stacy.

 

Then vs. Now

When Stacy does have a flair it is not as severe as they use to be. (16:45)

A flair use to take Stacy out from work for ten days, she had to get a really heavy prescription and do nothing but lay on her side.

Now she had a flair while she was camping, and the severe part of it lasted four hours until she could take an NSAID.

After one dose of an NSAID, and taking her CBD products, she was able to get into the pool.

From there all she took was CBD.

She was already doing lifestyle factors, consuming low-inflammatory foods, and optimizing her sleep, yet a back flair use to lay her up for over a week and require the use of heavy pain medications to mitigate the pain and inflammation.

Now she is perfectly fine after a few steps and just needs to take the CBD for a few days to keep the inflammation down.

This to her has the potential to change lives.

To know that she has this option changes Stacy's life.

She knowns that can do strenuous family activities, or go on that hike, and even if she tweaks her back she will be ok.

The one thing that she wants to say is that CBD has allowed biking into her life.

When the quarantine began and she could no longer do water aerobics she was crushed.

Not getting her alone time and physical exercise was very hard on her well-being, both physically and mentally.

She got the bike "for the boys" because she was afraid to say she wanted it for herself in case it hurt her back to ride.

Stacy knows that she would have never been able to do that strenuous exercise without this reduction in inflammation.

Being able to take herself to no-pain on the regular, means that if she rides the bike and goes hard it brings her nothing but the positive benefits.

There is no way Stacy could have pushed herself like this before.

Stacy still needs to take care of herself by moderating that her food is optimal for low-inflammation.

If she doesn't take her CBD to keep the inflammation down, it escalates as she sleeps, and when she wakes up the next morning the pain will be at an 8 or 9.

She shares this to show how she reached this point and all the little things that contribute to this big difference.

However, she also knows that there is something very special to the CBD aspect, which Sarah was able to confirm.

Listeners, if you or someone you know is experiencing chronic pain, whatever they need to do to make trying this work - help them.

Stacy was in a place where she had given up, but her quality of life has changed so dramatically since incorporating CBD.

She wants people to know that getting rid of chronic pain is possible.

This is exactly why Sarah wanted to talk about this on the podcast.

 

The Way it Works in the Body

There is an association with pain killers and being high. (24:24)

So it is a natural skepticism of a pain relief product.

If you are taking a product that is high in CBD but doesn't have TCH, how can it work as a pain relief product?

It doesn't seem like the normal things that we go to for pain without the psychedelic component.

This is why Sarah thinks it is so cool to look at the science because there is actually a lot of it.

To give a brief recap of everything we covered in episode 393, the endocannabinoid system is a system in the human body that is basically the interface between the sensation of pain, the emotional response to that pain, and the physiological response to the pain.

Pain is often caused by an injury, and the body needs to be able to ramp up the immune response in order to heal whatever damage there is.

The context of pain changes how the emotional response is.

It is the endocannabinoid system that is linking all of these things together and puts context to pain.

This system activates the immune response in response to 'I felt pain'.

It is also the system that is responsible for the maladaptation to chronic pain.

Chronic pain comes with mental health challenges and a highly ramped up emotional response.

Cannabinoids, in a variety of situations, has very powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and are both primary and secondary influences on pain.

This means that it influences the primary perception of pain, and the secondary influence on pain is everything downstream from that.

It has been shown to be beneficial in terms of immune regulation, the healing response, mental health, the emotional response to pain, as well as the physical sensation of pain.

 

Separating THC to Understand CBD

So it has been studied for years and there is a huge wealth of scientific studies. (30:01)

The early studies looked at cannabis as a whole, so a lot of it was looking at medical marijuana use.

Research on pain therapy was being done in cancer patients.

So these studies weren't separating out THC from CBD.

However, over the last few years, there have been a ton more studies that have looked at CBD separate from THC.

There is a huge variety of studies showing that the combination of THC and CBD is effective for pain management.

Sarah referred listeners to this study.

What is really interesting is separating out THC, removing the thing that makes you high, and looking at how effective CBD by its self is.

As this data is accumulating it looks like CBD broadly helps most pain types, but it is not necessarily across the board.

There have been studies that have shown that it works for pain associated with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, brachial plexus injury, and limb amputation, pain associated with kidney transplantation, fibromyalgia, and non-cancer chronic pain.

However, a recent study showed that it did not help with generalized chronic pain, but it did help those patients with sleep, and it didn't help with Crohn’s disease pain. 

We are at a point now where the studies are accumulating data showing that it can help in most situations as a very powerful analgesic.

This is where you have to look at dose, regimen, what is going on, possible interferences, etc.

We are still in a place where more science is needed.

Sarah shared where she thinks research on CBD should go next to outline detailed protocol.

For now, we have to really look at individual studies.

 

Dosage Details

Remember, we are not medical professionals. (33:22)

This is a supplement so be sure to check with your doctor and seek medical guidance before incorporating any new supplements into your routine.

A lot of doctors who use CBD in their practice for various things, they have a protocol for dialing in an individualized dose.

They tend to have people start with a low dose and then creep up to where you have the desired effects.

When it comes to dosage, there is a huge range that had been studied in the scientific literature and there isn't a standardized dose of CBD for specific situations.

Stacy has found that for her own needs that just taking 10 milligrams in the morning is all she needs every day, and this is very little.

The recommended dose on most brand's bottles is 20 milligrams twice a day.

If Stacy has a back flair, she takes about 25.

This is what she needs.

Just as you would tweak your lifestyle factors for what works for you and bio-individuality, when it comes to the science it makes sense that dosage is very individual to you.

Your body may need more or less to feel something.

It is important to ramp up slowly and see what and how you feel.

You do need to find your sweet spot.

Stacy explained what happens if she takes too much and how she found the right dosage for her personally.

Sarah takes 20 milligrams before bed, but she takes 15 if she is having it throughout the day.

She also explained the difference in what she feels based on when she takes it, day versus night.

Stacy typically follows her usage regimen six days a week, and it is only when she is dealing with pain and/or anxiety that she will change up her dosage.

Sarah and Stacy took a moment to discuss the importance of rest and recovery and how this supplement is taken with the goal of aiding in rest and recovery.

We have to do what we can to bring ourselves peace and joy, and to create downtime in our schedules and routines.

 

Studies on Chronic Pain Patients

There were a couple of really recent studies published in 2020 showing how potent CBD can be as an analgesic. (45:08)

A study that was published in January took 97 patients who had been on opioids for chronic pain for at least a year.

They were between 30 and 65, and it was an even split of men and women.

The study gave the participants CBD in a soft-gel capsule two times daily, and it was a 15-milligram dose.

So they were taking 30 milligrams a day, for eight weeks.

Three of those 97 people opted to not participate.

However, of the 94 that did, the study looked at a bunch of different measurements and they found that in just eight weeks, over half of their chronic pain patients reduced or completely eliminated their opioid use.

This is amazing when you think about the current opioid epidemic.

They also found that their sleep scores improved.

Six of the participants reported that they either reduced or eliminated their anxiety medications.

Four participants reported reducing or eliminating their sleep medications.

The primary goal of the study was to look at how effective CBD was for pain management, and what they showed is that it had these other benefits.

The details on the neurotransmitter impacts were discussed in greater detail in episode 393.

 

A Study Done on Topical CBD Use

There was another study that was also published in 2020 looking at topical CBD usage. (49:58)

The people who participated had symptomatic peripheral neuropathy. 

This group of people used a CBD pain cream that had 250 milligrams of CBD in 3 fluid ounces.

Sarah noted that this is a pretty modest dose.

The study was done over the course of a four-week trial where the patients were divided in half.

Half started with placebo and moved to treatment, and then the other group started with treatment and moved to placebo.

So this is a really good study design.

They were able to show that in just four weeks they had a significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, and cold and itchy sensations.

In addition, they reported no adverse events.

Sarah noted that this is what she thinks is really cool, that the safety profile is really high.

It has not been validated as safe for pregnant women, which is really important to mention.

However, in regular adults, there have been studies looking at CBD as a therapy, in addition to studies looking at its use on epileptic seizures in kids.

So there have been a lot of safety studies done, and the data is so strong.

Stacy mentioned this site as her favorite resource for all things pregnant/breastfeeding related.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy is not necessarily blown away or surprised by the science on this, but it is very cool to hear in greater detail. (54:56)

She is also excited to see that people are digging into CBD research in greater detail.

Stacy hopes that her personal experience may motivate someone else to give this supplement a try if they are struggling with pain or anxiety.

Sarah's favorite One Farm product is the unflavored oil, and Stacy loves the lemon flavor in the morning.

If Stacy does take one at night, she enjoys the mint-flavored one.

Stacy uses the topical cream as well.

If you have questions on this topic, please don't hesitate to reach out on either social media or on the contact forms on both Stacy and Sarah's sites.

Please also be sure to subscribe to both Stacy and Sarah's individual newsletter, where they discuss topics like this in greater detail.

Again, we are not medical professionals and are only sharing from personal experience.

Stacy noted that if even one person listens to this show and decides to give it a try and has a reduction in pain, please let her know.

It gives Stacy and Sarah a continued sense of purpose to know what effect they are bringing to listeners as they share on topics like these.

We always love hearing from you, and sharing your story with others also helps to inspire and motivate others.

Thank you so much for tuning in!

Don't forget, if you want to try One Farm visit this website and type in WHOLEVIEW for 15% off.

Thanks again to One Farm for sponsoring this week's show.

And thank you for listening! (59:26)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 419 - if we have done our basic math correctly. (0:27)

This week we are talking about corn, which Stacy has so many questions on.

Stacy wants to know why corn is often not suggested and comes out in a way you can recognize.

We all want to know and are sure that Sarah is going to answer these questions.

There are a few things going on here, Sarah notes.

Listeners, you know if the episode begins with a poop question from Stacy, it is only going to get more interesting from there.

A listener question inspired this week's episode, but Sarah wants to give a little bit of history to this topic as well.

 

Sarah's Microbiome Research

Sarah had been talking about her new gut microbiome eBook, which is called the Gut Health Guidebook. (2:51)

The gut health cookbook is coming out in a few weeks, which is a companion and an extension to the eBook.

One of the things that she did with these eBooks was taking a step back in her research approach from Paleo and AIP.

Sarah worked to look at the science as objectively as she could to understand what the science says.

There were a number of foods that surprised her during her research and one of those foods was/is corn.

Sarah's inbox blew up when she shared this information with her e-newsletter subscribers.

So we are going to talk about this science and why it was so important to Sarah to approach the research for this eBook from a neutral standpoint.

 

Listener Comment

Linda wrote, "I LOVED your latest podcast with your mother. (4:13)

My husband is a retired educator who worked in both BC and at the Alberta Distance Learning Center in distance learning.

So, everything your mother talked about are words that I have heard over and over.

We live on the east coast in the province of New Brunswick now where he is a retired distance educator at UNB.

Even though I don't have children at home, I listened to every word of this podcast.

I loved what your mother said about journalists.

As a retired journalist, I can relate to the deadlines!

I am 70 and have 7 grandkiddies and am sending this podcast link to my own kids. 

Around 6 years ago I began on a very strict Paleo program.

There was a time I listened to probably a dozen- or more - Paleo podcasts.

Yours and Stacy's is the only one I am currently listening to.

I have evolved into a natural way of eating, and away from some of the strict dictates of the old Paleo diet. I do eat gluten now.

And I trust your scientific approach.

You have gotten me to eat mushrooms!

As well, I watch every single one of Stacy's lovely Instagram posts about her life.

Peace to you both during this most difficult time."

Stacy shared her thoughts on the way the show has evolved over time and is so grateful for all that Linda shared.

Sarah told her mom that she did such a fantastic job last week and Linda is the listener comment to prove it.

 

Evolving Beyond Paleo

Linda's question touches on the evolution of what Sarah considers to be the root of the Paleo diet years ago. (8:36)

It was about looking at the science available at that time.

From 2011 to 2013, Paleo had these big conversations within the community.

Are potatoes Paleo was the big debate in 2011 and 2012.

There used to be a more direct connection between blogging and researchers, which provided direct feedback between influencers and scientific information.

The Paleo diet has always been designed for general health, and then you can kind of layer on as necessary from there.

Way back in the day, the community came together and potatoes were accepted.

We did the same thing around green beans and peas in the pod.

What has happened to Paleo over the last few years is the development of a disconnect between looking at the big picture that science is providing.

Research is constantly evolving and we have to take these updates into account when forming opinions.

This is why this podcast has evolved beyond a Paleo podcast because we are staying rooted in science.

As we reevaluate the merit of some foods, this pulls us away from the rigidity of where the Paleo definition currently stands.

 

Defining Your 80/20

Stacy pointed out the importance and value of utilizing an elimination diet to see what works best for you. (12:24)

Everyone needs to figure out what is best for them and their unique goals.

Sarah shared on how her approach hasn't changed, and how she has always used data to inform her choices.

It has always been about understanding the physiology and biochemistry of how foods interact with the human body.

Sarah also shared how her latest research for her new eBook has shaped where her understandings currently lie.

Looking at the microbiome gives us more data to go on in terms of informing who these foods might work for and who they might not.

This is the exercise that she wants to go through in this week's episode in looking at corn.

It is a really great example of a food that has been governed by that 80/20 rule.

If we start looking at the science, we can see a much more detailed picture that can help inform whether or not this food is going to work for you.

And it will not work for everybody.

This rooted in science approach is the same approach we have always taken on this podcast, and that Sarah has always taken in her articles online.

And we are continuing now that sometimes things align with the Paleo framework and sometimes things don't.

It doesn't change how we look at the merits of food.

The criteria is and always has been - what is the nutritional value?

How does it impact insulin, hormone systems, immune health, and gut microbiome health?

Can we see if there is a tradeoff? Or is it a clear winner?

This is the same approach we have always taken and will continue to take.

Today we are applying that to this specific example.

This will convey how we look at foods in this sophisticated way, as opposed to just lumping everything up into food groups that are either 'yes' or 'no' food groups.

 

Listener Question

Our listener question this week is from Natalie. (19:47)

Natalie writes, "I was stumped by corn as great for the gut in your newsletter Sarah.

I thought it was extremely hard to digest.

Could you please share why it is now good for the gut? 

Thanks!"

There is some nuance here, as corn hasn't changed.

Sarah thinks that corn has not benefited from the same community conversation as potatoes, rice, and edible potted legumes in the Paleo community.

Corn just hasn't had the benefit of people going back into the scientific literature and trying to understand what corn has to offer.

Sarah has done that work of going back into the literature to understand how corn impacts the human body.

This was motivated by spending six years works on a book about the gut microbiome.

 

Broad Classifications

Lets preface this conversation with touching on the too broad brush that the Paleo community has painted some foods with. (21:42)

Paleo has typically been described as 'eat like a caveman'.

With the idea to eat the way our Paleolithic ancestors ate - like a hunter-gather.

From there, it is described as no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no processed or refined foods.

The standard definition of Paleo has always been what you don't eat.

What you don't eat isn't the thing that makes your diet healthy.

If we lump together all grains, we are lumping together wheat, rice, barley, corn, and all of these different foods and treating them all as the same.

The same is happening with legumes.

We are treating peanuts and soy the same as black beans, lentils, and chickpeas.

The same is also happening with dairy.

When we look at how foods impact the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiome, we have the opportunity to separate out the harmful foods from non-harmful foods.

Instead of taking foods and lumping them all together, we have room to be more detailed in our analysis.

This is really important because there are a lot of ways to look at how foods within a broad category impact our health.

No matter how you dig into the science, you see that not all grains are the same.

If you look at the Paleoanthropological record, there are examples of legume and grain consumption.

Instead of creating rules at this macro level of food groups, let's get much more granular and look at individual foods.

Even if we take this Paleo approach to food, there is enough evidence from both the Paleolithic record as well as modern studied hunter-gathers to indicate that a whole food group approach is not enough detail.

We are missing out.

The more we can vary the diet, vary the nutrients, the phytonutrients, the fiber types, the greater the benefits.

If we can revisit some of these foods, we will get away from dogma and yes/no food lists.

We will also create a framework that is more accessible, which is extremely important.

 

Starting with the Gut

Why is the gut microbiome a great way to evaluate the merits of individual foods? (31:19)

What types of bacteria want to live in the gut are directly related to the environment they live in.

They are very sensitive to the Ph and the food they are getting to eat, which is what we are eating and not digesting.

Depending on what foods they are eating, that will feed different species.

It is a very sensitive ecosystem to permutation.

You can change your diet and completely change the species of the bacteria that are thriving in your gut in as little as two to three days.

We can measure it pretty easily now as well.

By looking at the bacterial DNA and RNA in stool we can get a pretty good picture of what is living in the small and large intestine.

We can also utilize animal studies, which are a good way to understand gut permeation in the gut microbiome.

It is relatively straightforward to measure what is happening in this system.

Sarah explained more about how we can measure differences.

The more we learn about what our gut bacteria do, the more true the statement is that they do everything.

They basically act as a virtual digestive organ and are basically controlling the health of every cell.

The microbiome is the master controller that is controlling the assembly of the proteins that glue the small intestine cells together.

We can't fix a leaky gut without fixing an unhealthy gut microbiome.

It becomes a central point since they are involved in the health of every cell.

At least 90% of all disease is linked to the gut microbiome in some way.

Sarah shared a list of the many things that gut dysbiosis is linked to.

Stacy wants to know how we can moderate these things for ourselves so that we are feeding our gut bacteria in a way that promotes them to be happy and healthy.

Food is not the only form of medicine.

There are a lot of things in lifestyle that lead to gut health being affected.

No matter what you do, in some cases, things will be impacted regardless.

Give yourself grace that you do the best that you can with the knowledge that you have.

If you continue to have some of these symptoms, that is what modern medicine is for.

Sarah reminded listeners of the fundamental things that are important for gut health.

 

Surprising Gut Microbiome Friends

As we get into the other foods, there is this whole collection that is good for the gut microbiome but isn't foundational necessarily. (42:23)

If there are foods that you can't tolerate, your gut microbiome is going to be fine if you are doing all the other things.

Sarah thinks this is where corn fits.

As Sarah was going through this research, there were a number of foods that surprised her that fell into this collection.

Certain foods she was expecting, especially based on their fiber measurements.

Here are the ones that are good: black beans, chickpeas, cranberry beans, green beans, lentils, Hmong beans, peas, snap peas, snow peas, and wax beans.

These are all the legumes that are good.

What surprised Sarah is that brown rice is better for the gut microbiome than white rice.

Also surprising, gluten-free oats and barley are good the gut microbiome.

A2 dairy in addition to whey protein is good for the gut microbiome.

However, A1 dairy is not.

Sarah was also very surprised to hear that quinoa is good for the gut microbiome.

 

Two Points to Consider

That being said, Sarah wants to emphasize two sides of a coin. (45:50)

One, Sarah thinks that these foods where science shows they are good for the gut microbiome are worth a re-look.

If you have been avoiding them for a really long time, consider your individual situation and methodical experimentation to see if they work for you.

These are not foods that are going to be incorporated into the AIP any time soon.

There are problems with all of them.

However, they are foods that deserve a second look.

At the same time, none of these foods are what Sarah would consider foundational foods.

None of these foods are so important for the gut microbiome or so nutrient-dense that we can't be healthy without them.

If these foods don't work for you, you will not be missing anything from what you need for general health.

 

Corn & Nutrition

Sarah thinks that corn has been thrown into this category within Paleo that generalizes it as a grain. (47:28)

Since corn is a grain, and Paleo defines grains as bad, corn is bad.

One of the things that have not done corn any favor is all the refined and manufactured foods that utilize corn as a base.

These highly processed foods are sort of what gives corn a bad name.

We are eliminating all of these products from this conversation.

However, let's talk about whole corn - sweet corn that is often eaten as a vegetable.

Or we can talk about cornmeal, which is dried and ground whole corn.

Looking at whole corn, corn is a really fantastic source of fiber.

It is also a really good source of B vitamins, vitamin C, and some minerals.

Yellow corn is a really good source of carotenoids and has a fair amount of phytonutrients.

With a cup of fresh sweet corn (that has 132 calories), you are getting 4.2 grams of fiber, 21% of your daily value for B1, 18% of folate, 17% of vitamin C, 14% for magnesium and phosphorus, 13% for vitamin B3, 12% for vitamin B5, and about the same percent for potassium and manganese.

That makes whole corn a nutrient-dense food.

Corn also has some really exciting polyphenols, which Sarah named and explained in greater detail.

If we look at whole corn, it has a lot of compounds in it that are beneficial nutrients, whether they are essential or nonessential.

 

The Research

Because of the fiber content, there have been a bunch of studies showing that corn can be beneficial. (53:44)

There have been studies showing that corn can enhance satiety.

Corn is also a good source of resistant starch, which can help to flatten the spike of glucose and insulin after a meal.

There was a study done in 47,000 adult men over 18 years that showed that consuming popcorn at least twice a week was associated with at least a 28% reduced risk of diverticulitis.

This is interesting because it has to do with the fiber.

Corn has a lot of insoluble fiber - and the type of bacteria that grow on that fiber type tends to be really important to the probiotic species that is controlling inflammation.

There is also an impact on this fiber type on the regenerative capacity of the gut wall.

So it can basically help to regulate how quickly those cells are turning over.

There are some studies that have looked at how the whole corn is impacting the gut microbiome.

Studies have shown that as little as 2 oz. of whole corn-based food provides the bifidobacterium with the type of fiber that they love.

Bifidobacterium is one of the most important vitamin producers, inflammation micromanagers, and they are a really important species for the gut microbial community in general.

Studies have shown that eating whole corn or corn fiber enhances calcium absorption.

The resistance starch from corn has been shown to be really beneficial as it increases gut microbiome metabolization, producing short-chain fatty acids, which increases the growth of roseburia.

So we have some really great research, especially in humans, showing that corn does some great things.

 

Stacy's Question

Stacy has noticed over the last few years in accidentally consuming corn starch, that she does not have the same reaction as she does when she consumes corn. (59:47)

Sarah explained the fiber that is in the corn starch and why her body responds differently to it.

The case that Sarah is making is not for corn starch, but for whole corn.

Stacy is right that there are some problems with it, and a lot of those problems are associated with the protein in corn.

When we have either a food allergy or food intolerance, those are driven by antibody production.

What the antibody binds to is a piece of a protein.

So if you take out the protein, even if you are allergic to something, then there is no protein there to drive the allergy.

This is probably why Stacy is ok with corn starch, but not anything that would include the corn protein.

Corn does not have a particularly high allergy rate.

It is estimated that as little as 1% of Americans have an actual allergy to corn.

However, corn has also been shown to be a gluten cross-reactor.

You can react to gluten in ways that don't require antibody production.

Up to maybe 25% of people who make antibodies to gluten, that antibody will also bind to corn.

Sarah explained how this reaction differs based on the antibodies that are being produced.

Corn is definitely something that our bodies have the capacity to create antibodies against and learn as food intolerance.

Probably having a leaky gut makes that more likely.

This is one of two really important reasons, why reintroducing corn has to be informed by your personal health history.

And Sarah always recommends a methodical reintroduction protocol.

 

Pesticide Residue

There is another piece to this though, and that is that corn is the most heavily sprayed crops. (1:07:18)

Back in episode 405, we talked about the impact of glyphosate on the gut microbiome.

Glyphosate is used extensively on corn.

GMO corn is only used for animal feed, but one of the things that we know is that those fields produce residue that spreads to neighboring non-GMO fields.

The FDA did a pesticide residue monitoring report, which is supposed to come out every two years.

The 2018 report seems to be currently missing.

However, the 2016 report showed that 63% of the food crop corn had levels that were considered measurable and below acceptable maximums.

The maximums are set much too high in the USA.

And this report did not give actual raw data, so it didn't tell us what the levels actually are.

There have always been some studies done from third parties on food from grocery store shelves for third party testing.

High levels of glyphosate were in everything that they tested.

This has to do with how heavily sprayed corn and soy and wheat is, and these foods tend to be in conventional processed foods as well.

Stacy gave a shoutout to one of our previous team members Crystal from Wholefed Homestead, who does a great job talking about heirloom.

Crystal talks about sources and different kinds of things and the difference between heirloom and sprayed foods.

Sarah shared more information on heirloom varieties.

In addition, Sarah covered the way that Genetic Modification is used as a catch-all term.

There is not an issue with the technology, there is an issue with the goal.

Genetically engineered crops have been used to make plants not die when they are sprayed with glyphosate.

We recognize that glyphosate causes gut dysbiosis and is not safe, but is now being used in huge amounts.

This is an example of where the technology is being used with a simplistic idea of increasing crop yield, but it is allowing the food to be sprayed with something that makes it unhealthy for us.

The goal is very important and the big picture is very important.

Humans have been manipulating the genetics of their crops for a few thousand years, and it can be as simple as only planting the seeds from a plant that has specific properties.

Where you don't have that control is in a wild variety, which is another fun thing to look for.

 

When It Comes Out Looking the Same

Stacy wanted to follow up and revisit her question from the top of the show.

If you are seeing corn in its complete form in your stool, are you digesting it?

And are you still getting all of these benefits that we just discussed?

If it is coming out the other end intact, you did not digest it.

Identifiable things in the stool are very revealing in terms of either digestive processes or gut microbiome.

One of the first things is chewing, which is a really important thing to do to aid in the digestion process.

Our teeth break things up into small bits so that all of the enzymes that our bodies make to digest can access the small bits.

Because corn has a very fibrous outside coating, if we don't chew it well, our digestive enzymes won't be able to access what is inside.

Seeing it intact can mean something as simple as, 'I ate like a vacuum cleaner instead of chewing my food'.

There is plenty in corn that should be accessible to our digestive processes.

And there is way more in corn that is a food for our gut microbiome.

So all of that fiber is feeding our gut bacteria, not us.

Those species of bacteria that are going to help break down whole corn are ones that really need to be nurtured with a gut microbiome friendly diet all the time.

They need to be nurtured with a gut microbiome friendly lifestyle all the time as well.

So while it could be as simple as needing to chew better, it can also be revealing of a missing collection of a species in the gut microbiome that needs to be nurtured on a regular basis.

There could be a missing piece as to why they are not growing very well.

 

Closing Thoughts

If a food does come out looking the same, thus revealing it was not properly digested, there are a few things you can do.

You can work on gut microbiome health, digestive health, take supplements to support either side of that equation, and work with a functional medicine practitioner who is familiar with gut health.

Stacy feels that we have provided plenty of data and information in this show.

If you have follow up questions you can submit those.

The real real from Stacy and Sarah on what they think about this show can be found on Patreon.

This is a non-PG, tell-all, that is combined from each episode and shared once a month.

Be sure to check it out here!

Thanks for listening!

For anyone who is interested in digging deeper into the gut microbiome and how that interacts with health, be sure to check out Sarah's Gut Health Guidebook.

You can also still preorder the Gut Health Cookbook, which will come out in a couple of weeks.

It has 183 recipes in it that all feature gut health superfoods.

Thanks again everyone, we will be back again next week!

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 418. (0:27)

Stacy is super excited to welcome back a guest to the show, although no stranger to the show, Sarah's mom - Patsy.

Like most shows, this topic was selected out of a real-life question that Stacy is facing.

Sarah has insider information on this topic, and Stacy told Sarah that she has to share this wealth of information.

Many listeners are starting this process for the first time, but Sarah's mom has been teaching for a very long time.

Her expertise is much needed!

This was very fun for Sarah to have her mom on the show and to shop talk.

Sarah's mom has been a distance education virtual school teacher for most of the last twenty-seven years.

She has been an amazing resource for Sarah's family as they have navigated this new environment.

Patsy has a lot of valuable information to share with our listeners because this is such a new area we are navigating.

One thing that Patsy wanted to note is that she will be sharing information from her experience, but does not represent any particular educational institutions.

Patsy feels very honored to be able to share this information.

Stacy's kids do not start school until September 8 and is currently in complete denial.

 

Big Shout Out

We are going to talk a lot about the perception of students and what it is like for parents. (5:22)

However, Stacy wants to give a shout out to all the teachers who didn't sign up to be distance learning teachers and who are now trying to make the most of it.

Patsy echoed her appreciation and excitement for how teachers are rising to meet the challenges.

Sarah saw an estimate that approximately one billion students will be going to school in a virtual environment this fall, globally.

Patsy shared a bit about what happened during the last pandemic in 1918 and the differences we face now.

Things have changed so much since Patsy started her career in virtual distance learning, the resources alone have completely changed.

Technology has gotten to the point where it can disappear, and everyone can simply focus on learning.

We are primed to embrace the solution.

And we have a lot of things going for us in a really positive way.

 

Vocabulary

Patsy broke down the vocabulary around distance education. (9:24)

Correspondance school was one of the first phrases used in America in 1728.

This was when business correspondence courses became available.

Distance education appeared in the literature in 1892 and this was through the University of Wisconsin.

In Florida, they started using the term virtual schools about twenty to thirty years ago.

Then we gradually got into using the term online learning, which is the term that we are switching to.

For about ten years we played with the term distributed learning, which was never picked up.

Now the general term that we use is online learning, but we are still switching between this phrase and distance education.

These two terms mean the same thing.

We also talk about blended learning and face-to-face learning.

Many school districts are looking at this model to see if this will help us both limit the spread of the coronavirus, while still providing students with a classroom experience.

Every school district is set up a little differently and each school is approaching this differently as well.

Laying the groundwork with the vocabulary, Sarah noted, is the way for us to lay the groundwork to set our kids up for success.

Synchronous means that we are all doing it at the same time together. 

Asynchronous is when you are doing it at your own pace and at the time of day that works for you.

Patsy feels that having a blended model works great because both social needs are being met, along with encouraging students to work at their individual level and at their own pace.

Accommodations are when we change the curriculum/assignments a little bit to individualize for students.

A modification is for students who are really struggling and suffering from an extreme amount of anxiety or who have distinct learning challenges.

 

Universal Challenges

The place where Patsy likes to start is with the home facilitator. (16:44)

This can be a parent, guardian, grandparent, or older sibling, and is an incredibly important role.

You have your children learning from home now and it is a pandemic, this isn't forever, but you are going to have to take on a hugely supportive role.

This will not always be easy because some kids do not do homework well with their parents.

However, it is a task that you will have to work through and relationship build around.

Patsy likes to say to parents, whatever grade your child is at right now, you are redoing that grade now.

If your child is in grade five, this year you are also in grade five.

You will know the curriculum and go through the details pretty much at the same level that your child is going through.

 

The Set-Up

Set up your child. (18:20)

Make sure that they have a space that works for them.

Also, make sure that you are having conversations where your child is participating and being involved in the decisions that are being made about where they are going to work in the home.

Patsy shared some location examples.

Students all have different comfort areas where they learn the best.

Let them try out what they think is going to work and then set a time for reassessing it.

Some kids work well with music, some with social contact, and some find these elements to be distractions.

So this is all very individual.

However, it is a great opportunity for kids to assess what kind of learning environment they are most comfortable in.

Work together to evaluate what kind of learning environment works best for the student.

Consider social interactions, how well they are doing with their assignments, and how much help they need.

You are then teaching these kids to self-assess and to be aware of who they are as learners. 

This is considered a twenty-first-century learning skill that carries over into the rest of your future. 

These are very powerful skills.

 

The Adjustment

The first two weeks can feel like chaos. (21:17)

Be patient, be kind to yourself - parents, kids, teachers.

After about two weeks, everything kind of settles down and you start to get into your groove.

Once you find that groove you begin to identify where you can tweak things a bit.

Also, make sure that you ask for your help when you need help.

Sarah shared a bit about how their school is currently structured for her daughters.

One of the things that they have done is set up an entire section of this online platform that is just for communication between parents/at-home facilitators and the teachers.

Sarah has really enjoyed being able to see that immediate communication and she feels more connected with what her kids are doing.

Patsy noted that there are elements to these adaptations that will have the potential to roll over to life after the pandemic and benefit us in positive ways.

 

Technology

The first thing is that every child needs to have their own computer. (26:04)

This computer needs to have a good keyboard, a good screen, and a good connection to the internet.

It also needs to have the software that they are going to need.

A lot of parents are terrified about their kids being online all day and if they are going to go to sites that are dangerous.

However, it is very important to not load up the computer with so much security that kids can't do anything on their computer.

This adds a lot of frustration to the learning and before long you have an uncooperative student and is resisting doing anything.

Patsy uses Windows Defender on her PC, which is enough security.

From there, it is important to teach your kids to not open a link when they get an email that might contain a virus.

Teach them how to do safe searches.

Part of your job as a home-facilitator is to be checking-in and knowing what your child is doing on the computer.

It doesn't have to be a war, but it is important to build awareness and open dialogue around this.

 

Access

Stacy noted that it is a privilege to be home and provide this level of supervision. (28:57)

For most people, Stacy included, it means that she is sacrificing her job in order to provide this oversight.

There are also students who are being asked to learn virtually who do not have access to all that Patsy is noting as needed.

In addition, there are students who simply do not have a home-facilitator available.

Stacy asked for suggestions on how to manage these scenarios and how to find a middle ground.

Patsy noted that this is a huge challenge.

She does think that the government does need to put money towards students' access to the equipment and internet that they need to be successful.

Because of where unemployment is currently at, many find themselves in a situation where they need to cut expenses, not add to.

These are problems that need to be solved, and we don't know how long this is going to last.

Patsy can't answer all of Stacy's questions but does want to acknowledge that these are very real questions to be answered.

 

Getting Creative

In Patsy's work as a distance-ed teacher, she will often have students come to her because the situation in the face to face school was intolerable. (32:55)

It has been heroic the efforts that parents have made to make it work for their kids.

She has seen parents who have gone to shift work, who split responsibilities.

Patsy also worries about students being able to pace at a teacher's pace with due dates.

Research has shown that the least effective thing that a teacher can do is set due dates.

The most effective thing that teachers can do is this whole array of other things that are broad and open and provide choice.

All of these things are so much more successful for the student as a learner than setting a due date.

The due date adds a lot of stress to a family that is already trying to balance many stressors at once.

Patsy has found that families can be very creative.

When they think through a well-designed learning environment and recognize quickly what is not working to find a solution to identify what does work, success can be found.

Having the flexibility to incorporate everybody's life realities into the school day is really important.

Communicating these points with the teacher and asking 'what can we do to make this work with our reality' can really help with the changes that will need to be made.

Also having these conversations with employers is critical.

Sarah encouraged our listeners that if you have extra, or slightly dated devices, to reach out to schools in your area to see what their needs are.

Or if you have the ability to donate to your local schools, this is another way to support the current demands and fix these inequities.

 

Mindset & Ideas

Many are probably struggling with the constant changes we are having to meet. (41:53)

When Stacy left corporate America, this is not what she was anticipating for what comes next.

Life has been very different for her, as it has been for a lot of people.

Stacy appreciates Patsy taking the time to breakdown what other people have done to make sacrifices for the education of their children.

It is just a privilege to be educated as it is when we look at this from a global perspective.

Stacy noted that this is a good reminder for her to continue to adapt and navigate the changes as they come.

It is a hard pill for her to swallow, but Patsy's perspective is very helpful.

Patsy shared the dining room learning experience example for asynchronous learning that has worked well for many families.

It is helpful when siblings can be both audience and helper, as these are important roles in all settings.

They can help each other, and help keep each other on task.

Be really clear about what the goal is.

There are ways of setting this up to minimize the need for parent contact.

Patsy cautions that the oldest child can fall into a babysitter role, which isn't effective for their learning either.

Also, remember that none of us know how to change to accommodate a pandemic.

If we stay aware, notice what is happening and stay calm, and be kind, we will make it through better than ok.

Doing this peacefully is the best that a lot of families can hope to achieve, and this is huge.

If what you learn during this pandemic is that you can stay calm and believe that you will survive, that will help in your future too.

 

The Fear of Falling Behind

Sarah raised a point about worries over a gap in education from last academic year's transition. (46:20)

She noted to her daughters who are feeling this concern that they will catch up.

That there will be a time when they return to in-person learning.

The most important thing is to do the best we can in this situation now and recognize that these challenges we are all facing together.

We are all going to have catch up that we will have to play, and we will all catch up at some point.

There will be accommodations for kids in the future.

The pandemic will have a long tail afterward, so don't worry about this not being normal.

Don't worry about this being a different type of rigor in terms of how you are moving through the curriculum.

Do the best you can with how this is right now and we will tackle new challenges as they come.

It is ok to do the best you can for your individual situation.

Sarah knows that a lot of parents are worried about their kids falling behind.

 

How to Overcome the Fear of Falling Behind

Patsy noted that part of this fear of falling behind is that people are inclined to lean towards passive absorption of the materials when they are working alone, online. (49:23)

They feel that the learning is between them and the computer or them and the piece of paper.

In the classroom, there is a lot of opportunities to discuss every concept, verbally with the class.

So we need to include that piece so that students are actively participating in their learning.

This includes telling people what you have learned.

The home-facilitator can help to have this conversation, other students can help with this (such as a study group), and this will help commit the knowledge to memory.

You can emulate the classroom experience using a number of tools that are available.

This is a very important piece that we need to build into the learning environment for kids who are learning online.

 

Staying Fully Engaged with Online Learning

Sarah asked Patsy for suggestions on how to get older kids, encourage them, to engage with online learning when they are more inclined not to? (53:19)

Patsy revisited the way that assignment deadlines can create an issue with online engagement and overall burnout.

So first, this is something we need to be aware of.

Just because a student falls off task for a little while, doesn't mean they will continue to stay off task.

This environment is an environment where students learn a lot about themselves, about what motivates them, about their commitment, and how they develop an independent work ethic.

These are twenty-first-century skills, ones you can take forward into a career.

As a whole, we are moving towards this economy where everyone gets to be their own bosses.

To be successful you need to know how to do that, how to be an independent thinker, and how to be independently motivated and committed to your tasks.

These aren't necessarily skills that kids are developing in the traditional academic environment, as opposed to distant ed environments.

Stacy echoed her feelings towards the reality that everyone is in the same boat.

It is important to emphasize how important it is to be kind, be patient, and have grace.

No matter what situation you are in, your child is not the only one in that situation.

The entire world is going to learn how to make accommodations and understandings for this very different environment.

We don't know what that looks like right now.

However, this next generation has an amazing opportunity to shape the world and the environment that they live in.

They will have had access to technological advances that no other generation has had.

Stacy reminds herself that while this is difficult, change comes when you are uncomfortable.

The discomfort, pain, and challenges that we feel right now, will result in some amazing change that can impact the next generation in the way that they approach the world. 

 

Our Social Environment Control is a Win

When you come to social ed you can control the social environment. (1:03:51)

The social environment in a lot of schools deals with bullying as a big issue.

We like to think that sending our kids to school is a great experience, but for a lot of kids, it is traumatic.

When kids come to online education, especially the way learning platforms are structured, most teachers have administered permissions to give an email address and a chat account.

It becomes easiest for them to chat with their other students through that system.

The teachers have access to everything the students do, which allows them to monitor the dialogue and interactions.

Kids, in the comfort and safety of their own home, can turn the computer off, can block a kid, can get away, and are safer than they are in their regular schools.

Being in an online environment is a huge equalizer.

We don't know what gender a kid is, we don't know how old they are, what their ethnicity is, whether they have disabilities, what their appearance is, and we can't tell what their academic abilities are.

In the classroom setting things can get cliquey and it can get rough in that face-to-face environment.

Kids can turn off the distractions, which is very impactful to their overall success.

It can be a very positive experience.

Sarah shared her personal experience with needing to help facilitate social touchpoints while working within the virtual setting.

They have now found these innovative ways to play, even though everyone is in their own homes.

This has been really helpful for them, given that they don't have the socialization piece of in-person learning.

Patsy did Zoom socials with her students that were successful.

 

The Positive Outlook

Sarah feels that if she were to distill this episode to one thesis statement, it is that Patsy believes that the online learning environment that is happening globally could end up being a positive thing. (1:11:00)

As a teacher, Patsy (and other educators) have been looking for ways to create educational systems that reflect society and where we are at in the most positive ways and to transform.

The beauty of what technology can do for us at this time is that it has the potential to transform education.

All teachers in the world are being forced to become very creative and use the tools to enhance what they have already embraced.

It is pushing the envelope and opening the doors.

We are becoming much more embracing of learning and people's interests and motivation and where they are as individuals and learners.

There are so many options in using technology to help us move past any limiting structures as either learners or personally.

Patsy feels that this has the opportunity to be permanently transformative if change can be permanent.

It is a pretty exciting time that Patsy feels has the potential to be absolutely amazing.

If we can overcome the concerns that we discussed earlier about accessibility limitations, we could accomplish a lot of good.

This forces everyone to be creative and to problem-solve, and to problem solve quickly.

There are so many areas where Patsy feels this can work to society's benefit.

 

Stacy's Takeaway

The biggest takeaway for Stacy is being open to creating a kind of pod in their home. (1:14:43)

To set aside the space and the time, a routine and a schedule, for this virtual school.

Stacy loves Sarah's idea of Zoom lunches!

She will set up something similar for her kids.

Parents in her neighborhood have been sharing pictures of their setups with each other for ideas and inspiration.

Stacy has some new ideas about how to set up the learning environment within their home.

Sarah reflected on what she too has learned about learning environments within the home.

 

Sarah's Takeaway

The main takeaway for Sarah in terms of setting up an at-home learning environment is the same takeaway that she learned a decade ago in terms of parenting. (1:20:04)

This has to be individualized for the individual kid.

What works for one kid is not what is going to work for the next kid.

We need to empower our kids with the self-awareness to understand how they learn best.

This is such an important skill.

For Sarah, this is really exciting to think of how to set her kids up for success in a way that is customized to them.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy shared what she learned from one of her children who wanted the autonomy and independence of what they perceived as appropriate for his age. (1:21:29)

They were more successful when given the opportunity to do that on their own and show Stacy that they could handle it. 

Patsy said that this is a common experience. 

We think we need stricter guidelines as children gain more access to technology when the opposite is actually true.

When you give kids responsibility, you are rewarded tenfold. 

Give them the ability to be responsible for their own materials and their own workspace.

It is not a free-for-all, so absolutely be involved with those decisions. 

As a parent, you still need to check in to ask how things are working.

Discuss the goals and revisit the goals.

It is a wonderful opportunity!

Having these conversations around something that is education-focused, as opposed to other more personal stuff, leans the conversation to something that can be very positive.

Stacy also noted that more oversight or less oversight is needed per child based on their age, needs, etc.

Patsy noted that it is really important to recognize that a lot of parents are working from home, with children that they too are helping at home.

Probably your teacher is a parent trying to do the same thing, or a grandparent whose grandchildren are doing the same thing. 

Know that you are in this boat together. 

Be grateful and compassionate. 

These are helpful ways to approach all communication.

Recognize how hard everyone is working to make this work for the students. 

The beauty of the learning management systems that we have is that it is too simple to ask. 

Reach out, edit with compassion, and make your request clear, complete with background information. 

Problems will come up, and we have to learn to work through them as opposed to avoid them.

Kids can succeed if they know-how. 

Approach this from the mindset that this is a skill that your child needs to develop now. 

Look at everything as learning that we are doing. 

Embracing a growth mindset is the fundamental positive spin that Sarah plans on bringing forward into this school year.

Huge thank you to Patsy for coming on the podcast and for sharing her wisdom!

Stacy is excited for Patsy to tell us what she really feels on a bonus episode for our Patreon subscribers

If you are not yet a Patreon subscriber, be sure to check that out here!

We will be back again next week!

Best of luck to those who have already started school, and for those who are preparing to begin. 

We hope that you feel more prepared and empowered!

Special thank you again to Patsy! (1:30:18)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 417, whereby Stacy and you get to be educated on K2. (0:27)

This is one of those, "I can't say that I'm disappointed that we are talking about this" shows for Stacy.

Although she didn't specifically ask the question, Stacy learned about K2 way back in the day and hasn't learned much since.

Sarah is going to fix that today.

Before we jump in, we want to thank our returning sponsor Just Thrive.

Both Stacy and Sarah have used Just Thrive for years as their probiotic supplement, and swear by their product.

Stacy can't encourage everyone to give it a try enough.

It is the only one that makes a difference that Stacy can actually feel.

Today Just Thrive is actually sponsoring with their K2-7 supplement.

If this is something you would like to try, you can get 15% off your order by entering in the code THEWHOLEVIEW when placing your order.

This code applies to anything on Just Thrive's site.

 

Patreon Listener Comments

Before we dive into this week's listener questions, we do have some fun comments to read in response to the first bonus audio content posted onto Patreon. (4:49)

For those who don't know, this is a newly launched way that you can support us.

What we are doing to thank our Patreon family is posting bonus audio once a month, that is our behind the scene thoughts on each episode.

This audio is posted for our Patreon family only and is very uncensored.

It is uncensored from both the G-rated perspective, but also the level of unfiltered thoughts and viewpoints that Stacy and Sarah are sharing.

Kelby wrote, "First episode is 🔥! Love you ladies!".

Jan wrote, "I just finished listening to the content and I felt very reassured just to hear you all talking about your philosophy of nutrition.

It was a nice break from the science talk.

Don't get me wrong, I love your scientific explanations, but it is often over my head and I struggle to wrap my brain around it!

It was nice to get a glimpse into your hearts and minds.

Thanks for being two of the lone voices of reason out there.

I've been so discouraged through this pandemic to hear many of my former functional medicine heroes give in to the conspiracy theories.

And I've seen even more of them fall down the dogmatic diet hole (particularly carnivore and keto).

So I feel a sense of calmness and much less anxiety when I listen to you two discuss life in an intelligent, rational manner.

THANK YOU for all you do, and stay strong!!"

If you haven't yet checked out Patreon, you can do so here and check out the July content.

August content will be coming soon!

 

Listener Question

Mariel wrote, "I’ve seen more brands starting to push vitamin K2 supplements as essential to take, especially if one is taking Vitamin D. (9:28)

I have a policy of avoiding supplements where possible unless they are whole food supplements or I have a medical reason for doing so, so I’m not sure what to make of company claims.

I’ve been scared into buying emu oil since I don’t think the Corganic liver capsules I take are going to give me enough daily K2 (and I don’t plan on eating 100 grams of liver or natto a day), but it’s pricey and I’m not sure if I’m wasting my money.

Help! Thanks!"

Stacy is feeling like Sarah is going to need to educate her on some of the details from that question.

 

Time & Place

Sarah shares a very similar philosophy to Mariel in the sense that she believes that first and foremost we should be attempting to meet our nutritional needs from diet. (10:21)

Supplements need to be taken with a reason.

We have this tendency to gives ourselves permission to not make the healthiest choices by relying on a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps.

It is really important to not let a supplement be an excuse to not do the hard work of making healthy choices.

However, at the same time, even when we are making all of the healthy choices, there is a time and a place for supplements.

Sarah feels that supplements need to be taken intentionally and with a plan.

Mariel is right that there is some really important interplay between vitamin D and K2, and some growing science showing us that there is a compelling reason to take these supplements together.

First, refer to this podcast episode when looking for a deep dive into vitamin D.

We are going to start this with the assumption that everyone is on the same page.

That vitamin D is really important and that it is really important to get those levels tested.

We need to supplement accordingly from those results so that vitamin D can be in a functional range.

 

What is vitamin K?

So what does vitamin K do? (12:50)

Vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin.

The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.

The very first role of vitamin K that was discovered was in blood clot formation.

There are two main forms K1 and K2.

K1 is the dominant form that we get from food, which is the dominant form in vegetables and makes up most of what we are getting from our diet.

There are actually 13 different isoforms of K2. 

For example, Just Thrive K2 is actually MK-7, so there are 7 repeats of the 5-carbon units in the side chain.

 

Where do we get it from?

Compared to other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K is not stored very readily. (15:36)

Without regular dietary intake, vitamin K stores are rapidly depleted.

So it is more similar to a water-soluble vitamin in the sense that we need to be continually consuming it in order to have enough of it.

Vitamin K1 or phylloquinone is synthesized by plants and is the predominant form in the diet.

The K1 content of plants depends on how much chlorophyll is in their cells.

So leafy greens are the richest sources of vitamin K1: kale (472 micrograms/cup), Swiss chard (299 micrograms/cup), and spinach (145 micrograms/cup) are amazing examples.

The adequate intake level of K1 for men is 120 micrograms per day, and for women, it is 90 micrograms per day. 

So on the surface, it looks like vitamin K is very easy to get from diet.

However, there are two things happening here.

One is absorption, and the other is the adequate intake may be set way too low.

Sarah explained the difference between adequate intake levels and recommended daily values.

There is actually some evidence that we want a lot more vitamin K than this, and that K1 is very poorly absorbed into the body.

We are only actually absorbing 5 to 10% of the vitamin K1 we are consuming.

You can double the amount that you are absorbing if you also consume fats with your dark leafy greens.

What is very easily absorbed is K2, which we absorb about 100% of what we are eating.

K2 is synthesized by human intestinal microbiota and found in fermented foods and in animal products.

So while 90% of the vitamin K we consume is K1, about 50% of the vitamin K measurable in the body is vitamin K2.

This varies in different tissues; for example, human liver stores normally comprise about 90% menaquinones and 10% phylloquinone.

We don't understand how the biological activity of the different forms of vitamin K differs.

What we do know is that all vitamin K can do the same job.

However, since we do see different forms of K2 in different tissues, it does imply that there is something important about that.

Right now in terms of scientific discovery, we don't understand what that important thing is.

 

What does vitamin K do?

All of these different forms basically do the same thing. (22:20)

Vitamin K's top-level function is that it is necessary for the activity of an enzyme called γ-glutamylcarboxylase (GGCX).

This enzyme catalyzes the carboxylation of the amino acid glutamic acid (Glu) to γ-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla). 

Remember that post-translational modification, like carboxylation, are essential for turning on or off many proteins.

Vitamin K-dependent γ-carboxylation that occurs only on specific glutamic acid residues in identified vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDP) is critical for their ability to bind calcium.

So all of vitamin K's roles in the body, which are really diverse, are basically related to calcium metabolism through really being able to activate different proteins that require binding to calcium in order to do the thing that they do.

Where this is applied in human biochemistry is in three main areas.

One is in blood clotting.

The other one is the regulation of a protein called Gas6.

Lastly, vitamin K basically controls where calcium goes into the body and stops it from going into the wrong places in the body.

 

Blood Clotting

In terms of blood clotting, vitamin K is really interesting here. (25:42)

The blood clotting is a really complex process that is performed in what is called the coagulation cascade.

This is a series of chemical reactions, where each step makes the next step possible.

Several of those steps require vitamin K.

So then with each of those steps, you are basically creating the proteins that make up the clot.

Vitamin K is needed to activate Clotting Factors II (prothrombin), VII, IX, and X, which make up the core of the coagulation cascade.

These proteins undergo a post-translational modification (vitamin K dependent ϒ carboxylation of glutamic acid residues) which enables them to bind calcium and participate in the clotting cascade.

Without vitamin K you couldn't clot, and you couldn't anchor that clot where it is supposed to be.

Vitamin K is also necessary for these other proteins that are anticoagulant.

We need vitamin K both to clot and to regulate clotting so we don’t clot all the time.

 

Gas6

Vitamin K regulates a protein called growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6). (32:57)

This protein is involved in many cellular functions, including phagocytosis, cell adhesion, cell proliferation, and protection against apoptosis.

Because of these functions, scientists think this is a key protein for the development and regulation of aging.

Through that, vitamin K has been associated as an important anti-aging vitamin.

Gas6 is found throughout the body; the nervous system is its main cellular home, but it is also in the heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, and cartilage!

Defects or improper functioning of Gas6 has been linked to some serious health issues, including clot formation, atherosclerosis, chronic inflammation, and cancer growth.

 

Calcium Regulation

Vitamin D and vitamin K work together in a really important way with calcium regulation. (34:24)

This is really central to bone health, bone mineralization, and skeletal health.

Vitamin D both enhances the absorption of calcium from food and also controls the amount of calcium in the blood.

So if you are not getting enough calcium from your food, vitamin D will basically activate the cells that breakdown your bone in order to draw calcium from your bones.

Calcium does a bajillion things in the body.

We operate under a very controlled amount of calcium in our blood, and it is vitamin D's job to control the amount of calcium that is there however it needs to.

The other thing that vitamin D does is promotes the production of a whole pile of proteins that need vitamin K in order to function.

This is where there is this really important synergistic action between vitamin D and vitamin K.

Where vitamin K really takes over in this calcium metabolism piece is vitamin D makes sure there is enough of it around in the blood, and vitamin K controls where it goes.

Sarah referred listeners to this vitamin D review article.

 

More on the Process

So it does this in a couple of different ways. (36:02)

Vitamin K activates osteocalcin a protein that promotes the accumulation of calcium in bones and teeth.

Osteocalcin (also known as bone Gla protein) is synthesized by osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).

Vitamin K activates matrix γ-carboxylated glutamate protein (MGP), which prevents calcium from accumulating in soft tissues such as kidneys (kidney stones) and blood vessels (calcification, or hardening, and atherosclerosis/plaques which eventually cause stroke, myocardial infarction, DVT, pulmonary embolism, etc.).

Vitamin K-dependent γ-carboxylation is essential to for several other bone-related proteins, including anticoagulation factor protein S, matrix γ-carboxylated glutamate (Gla) protein (MGP), Gla-rich protein (GRP), and periostin (originally called osteoblast-specific factor-2).

Sarah explained the way some studies highlight why you don't want to have high vitamin D and low vitamin K.

There have been a bunch of studies in humans where they have done things like given vitamin D and vitamin K together, and they have shown that together they help to regulate blood pressure, improve the elasticity of arteries, and they have also shown that high vitamin D in the absence of vitamin K can drive this calcification.

This is an impact of what is called vitamin D toxicity, which can possibly be mitigated by increasing vitamin K.

 

Other Ways Vitamin D & K Work Together

While this is just emerging evidence where more science is needed, but it looks like these two vitamins may work together to help regulate glucose metabolism. (41:04)

There is some science showing that they may improve insulin sensitivity through a variety of different actions together where they are impacting the pancreatic beta-cell function.

Also, there is some emerging evidence that they are working together as immune regulators in some ways.

We know that both vitamin D and vitamin K interact with the immune system, and it appears that their joint action is an overall antiinflammatory reduced oxidative stress action.

Again, more science is needed on this.

 

Insufficiency Prevalence

So that is everything vitamin K does, so you kind of go - wow! (41:52) 

If you think about it as simplistically as helping to turn on proteins that are really important for regulating what calcium is doing in the body, then you understand how important this nutrient is for all the things.

When you look at the adequate intake level, it looks like it is really easy to get enough vitamin K.

However, it turns out that because vitamin K1 is not as easily absorbed, and there may be situations where our need for vitamin K is much higher than that adequate level, that vitamin K insufficiency prevalence might be high.

What is interesting though, is that this has actually not been well studied.

In normal healthy adults, 8-31% have vitamin K deficiency.

However, especially in older adults, more data is needed.

Sarah shared examples of why more research is needed on this and how our lack of information doesn't provide a clear picture.

Two studies that Sarah referenced can be found here and here.

We are at this point where we are still learning about functional vitamin K insufficiency and what the implications are and how this relates to cardiovascular disease.

But what is really interesting is that the other area where vitamin K levels are monitored is in newborns.

There have been studies that have looked at vitamin K deficiency in newborns.

At this point, there doesn't appear to be racial disparities in vitamin K levels, but that has only been tested in newborns because it is a new thing to look at in a functional way in adults.

Sarah's guess as to what is causing our deficiency has to do with our intake of traditional foods, such as fermented foods and organ meats.

The average American diet is a terrible diet for the gut microbiome.

It is full of refined carbohydrates, there isn't enough fiber, the fats are in the wrong amounts and are the wrong kind, and there are not enough phytochemicals.

Our gut microbiome is also extremely sensitive to the nutrient density of our diet.

So if we are eating a nutrient-deficient diet typically the gut microbiome suffers.

It is the sum total of all of the ways that the modern food system has hurt us is being reflected in vitamin K status.

 

Deficiency vs. Insufficiency

Stacy shared how this information really hones in the message repeatedly to her to be thinking as much as we can how to continue to inject that nutrient deficiency and put a nutrivore mindset into action.

It is not in a vacuum - it is not about one thing, and we see an example of this with vitamin D.

If that is the only thing you are doing, we see examples of how this can have repercussions on other things.

Sarah thinks it also highlights how hard it is to really meet the body's nutritional needs in our current environment.

It shows how much effort needs to go into a nutrivore's mindset in order to truly meet all of our nutritional needs.

This is something where we are going to go back to our 'vote with your dollar', which is the response that we have because we don't have another option.

It takes a grassroots movement in order to be able to show companies that there is really a demand for these nutrient-dense foods that can fill in this nutritional gap.

Stacy mentioned at the top of the show that she started taking K2 early on into quarantine and it was because she was on the Just Thrive site poking around.

She is loving learning about why this nutrient is important but also realizes that she needs to be testing her vitamin D levels regularly as well.

Most people don't have overt symptoms of vitamin K deficiencies.

Deficiency means your levels are so low that you are showing symptoms.

However, vitamin K insufficiency is much more insidious because the problems with this are seen over a really long timescale.

It is not the kind of supplement where you can feel a change when you start taking it.

The main long-term issues that low levels of vitamin K are associated with are osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

These are a direct result of vitamin K's roles in calcium.

 

Toxicity

There is a growing body of evidence basically saying that we want to optimize both vitamin D and vitamin K together.  (59:41)

However, there is not enough science showing how much vitamin K to take relative to vitamin D.

Studies have basically shown that if you are taking less than about 800 IUs per day of vitamin D, that that level does not require additional vitamin K.

Over 8oo IU per day, more scientists are basically saying that vitamin D should actually be packaged with vitamin K if you are taking more than that per day.

There is this call for more big studies to look at how the higher doses of vitamin D.

Vitamin D supplementation needs to be customized to your personal needs.

It is important to measure your vitamin D and if it is insufficient, supplement, and retest.

Make sure that you are taking enough to get your vitamin D high enough and not too much that your vitamin D is going too high.

With vitamin K it is really interesting though because there is no upper limit.

There is no actual evidence of a toxic level of vitamin K.

The higher vitamin D is, the more we need vitamin K to help basically work in concert with vitamin D to control calcium.

If we are taking a large amount of vitamin D in order to get our levels into the normal range, that is increasing our needs for vitamin K and what we don't really know is how much vitamin K.

What we know is that the adequate intake level needs to be reevaluated.

However, we can say that there doesn't seem to be any risks when taking large amounts of vitamin K.

 

Why is 7 the Magic Number?

So why do we want to take K2-7? (1:03:10)

It boils down to a couple of things.

We know that seven is the dominant form of K2 that is produced by our gut bacteria.

Data suggest that vitamin K2 (menaquinone, esp. MK-7) has advantages over vitamin K1 (phylloquinone).

MK-7 form is the best-absorbed form for dietary supplements.

And, it has a long half-life of MK-7 resulted in much more stable serum levels, and 7- to 8-fold accumulation higher levels compared to K1 during prolonged intake.

Among the several vitamin K homologs, only MK-7 (vitamin K2) can promote γ-carboxylation of extrahepatic VKDPs, OC, and the matrix Gla protein at a nutritional dose around RDI.

We know that MK-7 does all the important things that we want vitamin K2 to be able to do, and it has been the best-studied over three years of supplementation.

Studies have shown that supplementation with MK-7 does the things that you would hope taking a vitamin K supplement would do - like improve the elasticity of our arteries and improves bone mineral density.

This is why it is so cool that the Just Thrive K2 is the best-studied form of vitamin K that checks all of these boxes.

They package it with magnesium and zinc to help actually increase absorption.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy is excited to hear from Sarah that this is a supplement that she would see the benefits from over the long-term use of it. 

Bone health in general is something that Stacy tries to prioritize. 

If this supplement is something you would like to check out, please visit this site here

Don't forget to use the code THEWHOLEVIEW to get 15% off your order, which can be applied to any and all of their products. 

This code is good for subscriptions as well!

Thank you to our sponsor Just Thrive, whom we use and love.

And thank you to our listeners for listening to Sarah's deep dive into the science. 

If you have follow up questions, please feel free to reach out via social media or contact forms on both of their individual sites. 

Stacy and Sarah will also dive a little deeper into this subject on Patreon

Thanks for listening and we will be back again next week! (1:09:48)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 416. (0:27)

As our regular listeners can tell, it is opposite day, as Sarah is kicking off the podcast.

This week we are going to be talking about Stacy's experience with children with ADHD, and how they have been handling quarantine and virtual schooling.

Stacy has received this question from a lot of people, especially as we are all getting ready for another school year to begin.

Sarah's kids' start date for school was delayed by two weeks so that all of the teachers could get training on the virtual platforms.

They are in the ramp-up to school phase in their home.

In Virginia, schools were set to begin in August, but have been pushed by a two-week delay as well.

Everyone is looking at how to set their families up for success.

We are going to talk about how Stacy's family has worked to set themselves up for success.

 

Listener's Question

This week we have a really great question from Brooke. (2:35)

"Long time podcast listener - yes, I’ve stuck with you since the early days and love how your podcast has evolved over the years. 

I’m a mom of 3 boys all with varying degrees of ADHD.

My husband has more than a dusting himself but is not formally diagnosed.

Stacy, I loved your description of living in a house of 80%ers - it made me giggle because it totally resonated.

I’d love to hear more about how you look after you, maintain some semblance of normal family life, deal with ADHD behaviors in public and live in a house that’s not a tip when you’re surrounded by ADHD.

In short, how do you not lose your mind with the challenging aspects?

Knowing that the men in my life didn’t choose this just doesn’t cut it anymore. 

Many thanks, Brooke."

 

Stacy's Experience

To introduce everyone to Stacy's experience with this, she has two children - one with ADD and one with ADHD. (5:05)

Her husband is formally diagnosed with more than a dusting.

This also runs on his side of the family, with Matt's brothers all having varying forms.

Stacy wants to note that these are almost always paired with sleep and mood disorders.

A lot of depression and anxiety also pairs in with these conditions.

So when we think about an attention disorder we think of a child who is a busy bee, so to speak or someone who can't focus on a test.

It is a lot more than that though, with a formal diagnosis it affects more than just their ability to focus on simple tasks.

As we talk about the context of this, it is important to remind yourself that this is a medical condition and that it really can't be helped.

While we can do things to modify the lifestyle factors, likely a person in your life that you love has conditions that have some sort of aspect of this.

Stacy would be surprised if there was someone who didn't know someone with depression at some point in their life.

She also shared the way that she processes her feelings around these conditions.

In this week's episode, Stacy hopes to shares tools that are applicable to those who have family members with one of these conditions.

 

Communication is Key

First things first, is to communicate. (10:34)

If you are not talking about something, that is just making it worse.

Sometimes it is hard to say you are frustrated or to find the words, but this is something that Stacy really encourages in their household.

This is not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by.

In fact, it’s helpful to be able to point to an explanation of behavior.

For example, one of the brothers who doesn’t have ADD/ADHD gets quite frustrated when another gets distracted and doesn’t do chores.

There’s a feeling of inequality that can then be explained with a medical condition.

This helps to serve as an explanation, not an excuse.

 

Patience

The next thing is patience. (12:27)

Stacy knows this is a hard one, she is there, but she expects to need to repeat herself before she is truly heard.

To set people up for success, Stacy sets people up with jobs that are consistent, they have a list, they have things they can refer back to for reminders, and they have tasks that are best suited for them.

Stacy reminds herself that it’s not intentional, that their brain literally forgot what they were doing and they went on to do something else.

However, these are tasks that each of the kids picked from a list of everything that needed to be done.

Stacy has raised her kids to be independent, to feel empowered, and to feel that they can succeed in the things they know they have done before.

As they have a new family member, the chores that this family member has are things they have done before.

Again, it boils down to setting them up for success, empowering them, and building their confidence.

It minimizes frustrations to set kids up for success and pride.

With ADHD, this has been critical to their success in quarantine in general.

They approached this season in life as a team and looked at all the shared responsibilities and how to support each and every member of the family.

Most of the time they are happy to help, and they do get an allowance as well.

Stacy and Matt use an app called Green Light, which allows them to manage their chores and pay them via a card that they can load.

Don't have unrealistic expectations.

We as adults are tired of this pandemic as well.

 

Pick Your Battles

This leads Stacy to her next point, which is to let somethings go and pick your battles. (20:50)

Stacy is far less concerned with the boy's beds being made, than she is with them being kind to one another or if they are generally, genuinely being helpful.

So this is the perspective she tries to maintain when she is frustrated.

Stacy will often ask herself if something is worth it when she finds herself angry or frustrated.

One example that Stacy shared is one of her kid's clothing preferences and giving him room to make those choices.

What he is wearing in not the battle Stacy wants to pick.

It is far more important to Stacy that when her son is outside he helps their elderly neighbor carry her bags into her house, as opposed to what he is wearing.

As a parent, Stacy feels that it is her job to help them become the best version of themselves that they can be.

To also shape them into kind, helpful adults.

She doesn't want to change them to fit the mold that she wants them to be.

One of the things that Stacy does is ask herself, "if this was a behavior that they were exhibiting as an adult, would it be appropriate and would it be beneficial?".

 

Creating Space

Sarah asked Stacy if she has any strategies for how to defuse anger in the heat of the moment. (28:58)

Stacy does try to do breathing.

Just as a situation is starting to build up and overwhelm you, it is helpful to do that deep breath through the nose and out the mouth.

If you do a deep pattern a few times in a row, it will give you a break to collect yourself before you react.

The thing that is more effective for Stacy personally that her kids and husband respond to is to walk away from things when they are not time-sensitive.

When things are not going in a positive direction, they take a break and talk about it again in a few hours.

Matt does really well if he goes outside and takes a walk to separate himself from what is physically happening.

Self-care resonates with Stacy when she is taking a break.

Creating any space where you can give yourself a break is going to really help.

Use these techniques to ask yourself if your expectations are reasonable, if you could create flexibility or small wins, or can you better understand their perspective.

Whatever is happening to you, you are not alone.

This just happens to be a concentrated season when you feel like you can't get a break.

So you need to create that space to take your break.

Sarah shared that one of the things she has struggled with most during quarantine is the loss of alone time.

There is an overstimulation aspect.

As a family, they have had to have a conversation about how to respect each other's personal time and space.

This ensures that when they come together as a family, that time actually serves as quality family time.

It has been helpful to have spaces where they each could retreat to while they defuse the stuff that is meaningless.

 

Sarah's Experience

Everyone in Sarah's family is an introvert and everyone needs their recharge time by themselves. (36:14)

They all get more energy from time alone.

In addition to being introverts, they are all very social, so also need social time together.

If they haven't had kind and respectful social time if they haven't had recharge, alone time.

So this has been one of the things they have had to navigate over the summer months.

And they will again have to find a new system as the kids begin school in a few weeks.

Sarah's girls happen to be planners and having an idea of what to expect really helps them.

Knowing what to expect helps them adjust better to change.

Right now they are talking through the different interpretations of the academic schedule and what they could mean for their daily routines.

In Sarah's house, routine is essential.

Sarah shared information from an interview she recently watched that featured a psychologist discussing some of the challenges with quarantine from a mental health perspective.

One of the things that he said is that the brain doesn't know the difference between a big decision and a small decision.

The brain doesn't know the difference between the higher levels vs. lower levels of stress when making a decision.

When we can take decisions out, and rely on routine, this helps to decrease the decision burden on the brain.

This is something that Sarah has really internalized in terms of how they approach their time when every day feels the same.

 

Routines

Stacy completely agrees with having some sort of schedule, list, or plan that the kids can expect. (40:01)

Regardless of age, or conditions, or personality types, all humans want to know what to expect.

It feels like chaos for most people to go into the day without a plan.

Stacy sets the expectation of what she needs to accomplish each day, and she does the same for the kids.

For the kids, she makes it clear what needs to be accomplished before they have screentime or before they do 'x'.

This way it is up to them to set the pace on their tasks.

Otherwise, there is not much else for them to do besides playing together, being active, reading, etc., which are all things Stacy is in full support of.

This also allows them to have a little sense of control and independence that is really needed for kids as they get older.

Stacy noted how you could set up a toddler for success in their schedule as well.

This can look different and be tailored to each family, but some kind of structure is key for all humans.

The only thing that Stacy would add to Sarah's alone time recommendation is to add in some quality positive time.

You need to proactively create that time that you are spending together either playing games, telling stories, or watching shows together.

Cultivate positivity around the time that you spend together so that when you are together as a family, it doesn't feel like is all you are doing is chores or nagging.

 

Creating a Process

The last thing that ties into all of this is to create a process that works for the child. (44:22)

Specifically speaking within the context of ADD and ADHD, oftentimes by instinct we do the things that work for us.

However, your child might thrive in a different environment, so it is really important to tailor and figure out exactly what is ideal for that child.

Stacy knows that this is difficult and is something that she continues to work on.

It is our job as adults and parents to bend what we need to do to at least meet our child in the middle to help them be the most successful as they can be.

You can adjust and tailor this over time, and it will get easier as they get older.

For Stacy, for her child to process what she is asking of them, she has to make sure that they are looking at her in the eyes as she talks to them.

She has to go to them and squat down to their level.

Stacy also has to be able to read if/how they are distracted and connect with them physically while she is talking to them to further make sure she is heard.

Sometimes she will also have her child repeat what she said to make sure they heard her properly.

The other thing that Stacy needs to learn and adjust to is to not delegate more than two things to her child with ADHD.

Stacy will delegate one task and then have her child report back once that is done, and delegate another task accordingly.

This is how her child is successful, and he has gotten better.

They have made a lot of progress and they will continue to make progress as he gets older.

But you have to meet your kids where they are, no matter what their difficulties are.

This has been Stacy's guide to success.

 

Phrasing & Cues

One of the things that are important as you communicate and have patience is to have words for when things are going in a direction that is not positive. (49:34)

When Stacy sees impulse control is a problem, she will say to them, "it seems like you are not in control of your body why don't you go take a break."

In Stacy's house, they have this phrase that they use that helps them recognize what Stacy means and what she is talking about.

This makes it so that Stacy doesn't have to explain herself each time or point out the bad thing they did.

Is all she has to do is say, "Hey - it looks like you are having a moment. Let's take a break and we will come back together later to talk about this."

They also have code words in their family when people are being triggered for things.

Each member of the family uses the code words when they need to, and everyone else respects the rules associated with that word accordingly.

 

The Lifestyle Things - Family Meetings

Some of the things that Stacy wants to lead into that Sarah can provide input to are the lifestyle things. (52:17)

Family meetings are one of those lifestyle things.

These are used as a way to connect, to get on the same page together as a family, and are not places where Stacy yells at people.

The family meeting is not the place for that.

If things start to get frustrating and voices become elevated, Stacy and Matt will try to pull it back a little bit as parents.

They will encourage their kids to use the 'I feel' phrase to express what they are feeling at that moment.

Creating a forum where everyone feels like they are heard is really critical for not letting situations be a snowball that gets worse over time.

They call family meetings for everything.

Stacy tries to make sure it is not a negative space.

 

Movement & Diet

Some other lifestyle and diet changes, which Stacy is not going to go super deep into because we discussed them in this episode. (54:29)

You can hear the growth and progress in Cole's life from that episode to now.

One of the things that were big for Cole when he was younger was to provide relief for the physical need for movement.

They did this by using a yoga ball for a chair, providing a tool they could physically fidget with, and ensured that there were breaks.

People with ADHD and ADD have physical energy that builds up in their body and they need physical breaks.

Going gluten-free and limiting dairy were also helpful pieces they incorporated.

They did eliminate dairy for a long time but have brought back high-quality dairy in high-fat forms and in limited quantities.

Stacy has also found that avoiding food dye is also very helpful for her kids.

All of these things help them maintain the highest level of control over their body.

Sarah shared her experience with how one of her daughters react when she eats something with food-dye.

The best way to gauge what your child is affected by is an elimination diet.

There are a million different tests that your pediatrician can run to see what your child is allergic to.

However, the only way to see how your child reacts to things is to remove the foods in question from their diet and reintroduce.

 

Supplements

We did a show dedicated to melatonin, which you can find here. (1:01:09)

Melatonin has been so helpful because adequate sleep is critical.

Kids with ADHD and ADD often have a difficult time sleeping, especially if they are on a stimulant medication.

Even without medication though, it has been so helpful for Wesley.

He gets anxiety at night and goes through phases when he needs melatonin at night.

Probiotics, because as we have talked about on this show, gut health is health.

He takes Just Thrive probiotics just like Stacy does.

The other two things that Stacy recently mentioned are fish oil and coffee.

Sarah has some science on these two things though, so Stacy is going to turn things over and let her explain the research behind these two supplements.

 

Omega-3 Supplementation

Coffee needs an update since episode 145 was the last time we covered that, and we haven't covered fish oil supplementation for ADHD in greater scientific detail. (1:02:55)

There have actually been enough studies now looking at fish oil supplementation as a primary approach to ADHD and ADD.

We have studies showing that people with ADHD tend to have much lower levels of the long-chain omega-3's, especially DHA in their blood cells.

There are researchers that actually think that a deficiency in DHA and EPA drives the neurotransmitter imbalances that are causing the behavioral manifestations and cognitive manifestations of ADHD.

Studies have shown that supplementation of doses of at least 500 mg per day very significantly improves both the clinical symptom scores, as well as cognition measurements that are associated with ADHD.

 

Anoter Listener Question

Sharon asks, "In your recent podcast you discussed your doctor's recommendation to increase your son's fish oil.(1:09:00)

You said he was taking Rosita cod liver oil and I was immediately concerned.

Fish oil and cod liver oil in particular has some major differences.

Cod liver oil is extremely high in Vitamin A.

It can be toxic in large doses and cod liver oil has a large dose, according to WebMD.

You probably know this and are doing just fine, but I wanted to give you this info, just in case."

 

Vitamin A Toxicity

Sharon is absolutely right that there is a big difference between any fish liver oil and fish oil. (1:09:33)

It is because of the oil from the organs versus the oil from the muscles.

They are both very high in omega-3's, but fish liver oil has a much higher vitamin content.

It has quite a bit of vitamin A, but also a high dose of vitamin D, and it has a little bit of E and K as well.

This is one of the reasons why Sarah chooses cod liver oil because vitamin A dietary insufficiency is very common.

A teaspoon serving of Rosita extra virgin cod liver oil has about 3900 IUs of vitamin A.

That is 78% of the adult daily value.

It also has 395 IUs of vitamin D, which is 98% of the adult daily value.

However, there is a really interesting common misconception about vitamin A toxicity.

The US Institute of Medicine's daily tolerable upper-level intake for vitamin A has been set quite low.

Some vitamins have what is called a UL, an upper level, where they basically say that staying below that level means that you are in a safe zone for avoiding toxicity levels.

So the upper level for vitamin A is different for age and gender.

However, for children ages 9 to 13, it is about 5600 IUs per day, and for adults, it is about 10,000 IUs per day.

This is set based on a couple of different things.

The things that they are looking at to set the upper level are changes to bone mineral density, birth defects, and abnormalities in liver health.

So the data that is going into the UL is basically very narrowly defined.

What is important to understand about vitamin A is that toxicity is extremely rare in the context of whole foods.

It is basically been seen in the consumption of seal liver, polar bear liver - forms of the liver that can literally have millions of units of vitamin A in a very small amount.

And it is typically seen in the context of supplementation in conjunction with vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin A toxicity requires very high doses of vitamin A.

So in children, we see acute vitamin A toxicity at 300,000 IUs a day, which is an accidental dose.

If you are going to be taking high doses of vitamin A, it is important to know where your vitamin D levels are at.

Test don't guess - and then retest.

There is a growing body of scientific literature showing that vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency is associated with ADHD and that supplementation has been shown to improve symptoms.

 

The Latest Science on Coffee

Sarah was really interested to see what new research had been published since we did episode 145. (1:17:55)

There are more animal studies looking at caffeine and ADHD.

Caffeine was first adjusted as a management tool for ADHD in 1973, and there have been a variety of studies that have looked at caffeine pills or coffee for symptom management.

Most of the studies have been uncontrolled, and most have been relatively small.

Caffiene is psychoactive for all of us.

Sarah explains how it works in the body, in addition to the downstream effects.

Studies have shown that caffiene consumption works best as a low dose.

Optimal doses are somewhere around 150 milligrams of caffiene per day.

So the studies show that coffee is more effective than nothing, and probably not as effective as various medication options for ADHD.

Of course, the side effects of caffiene consumption are much more tolerable than some of these medications, as some of these medications have really undesirable side effects and higher rates of adverse reactions.

There is a call for coffee to be reconsidered as the first course of action in treatment.

Sarah noted that it would be ideal to address the nutrient deficiencies that are contributing to the neurotransmitter imbalances.

Then use caffiene as a management tool.

Sarah explained the findings from this study released in April, in addition to this paper from 2018.

If you look at the body of scientific literature over the last five years, there is still the same need for big scale, randomized placebo-controlled, clinical trials.

However, the mechanistic understanding has become more robust and has made a stronger case for someone to go and do those big clinical research trials.

Stacy has found it to be more effective and less effective at different times for the kids. 

It is one of those things that as you are looking to help your ADHD, the need fluctuates.

And Stacy does feel like it relates to the other things you are doing in your life as to how much caffiene you might need. 

 

Medication

Stacy will say that they were fortunate that none of their boys have gone on medication. (1:26:24)

They have been able to focus on the lifestyle and supplements they have talked about throughout this episode. 

Stimulant medication for ADD and ADHD often have side effects that Stacy is trying to avoid.

Matt has been on them from a young age and they are very difficult to come off of as an adult. 

The side effects become more dangerous over time, which is also a really hard thing to deal with.

If you are feeling like you need additional support now that you are at home, you could ask your medical professional about a non-stimulant medication that can now potentially be used. 

Stacy noted that what is really great about it is that it is not a controlled substance.

 

Closing Thoughts

Stacy thinks she covered everything. (1:29:34)

Sarah agreed that this was a wide-ranging episode in terms of strategies, but that is the big take home. 

This is not about implementing one strategy but instead looking at this from a whole-life, whole-family approach. 

Sarah feels that this isn't information that is only relevant to those living with family members with ADHD. 

These techniques are helpful to anyone who is trying to adapt to quarantine life.

Putting these strategies into place can help to set us all up for success in not just this new environment, but beyond. 

Sarah feels that it is nice to have an episode where we tackle a broad range of strategies because it is grounding. 

It helps to reflect on our current strategies to see where to fine-tine.

So much of this is broadly applicable, and yet so much of it needs to be individualized to a child's unique temperament and needs.

The most important thing during this really challenging time is to give all of ourselves some grace. 

We are being challenged in ways that are completely new. 

This has never happened in human history.

It is a process, and it is ok if it is not easy. 

We as parents or caretakers oftentimes want things to be perfect, but it is the difficult times that we work through where we learn and grow the most.

If we let our children learn how to do things that they might not know how to do right away or how to do well, but how to work through their frustrations, this will help them as an adult in a positive way.

If they think they need to just suck it up, then as an adult they are stuck not knowing how to positively and constructively communicate with others. 

This has been really important for Stacy as a parent, to remind herself that she is teaching them how to do this better as an adult. 

Again, learning how to constructively communicate with other people is a skill that almost all adults want or need to work on. 

Thank you listeners for asking these questions. 

Stacy hopes that it was helpful. 

She is just a mom, as well as a foster mom, and makes mistakes, which is part of what being a parent is. 

Every day is not going to be perfect or great. 

There will be bad days and good days, and that is ok. 

We hope that this inspires you to at least be honest with yourself about those things and to maybe hold a family meeting and share how you are feeling with your family. 

Thank you, listeners!

We will be back again next week! (1:38:01)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 415. (0:27)

Stacy is jazzed that they are revisiting a topic that has been laid with controversy for years.

She loves to revisit topics and update science on past episode subjects.

First, Stacy wants to share a story on fish oil.

Stacy recently had an appointment with one of her children who has ADHD/ADD.

The pediatrician knows that they work to manage his symptoms through lifestyle and are trying to avoid medication.

Stacy shared with the pediatrician some of the challenges she has been facing at home and asked if there was an alternative to using a stimulant.

One of the things that he said was to increase the fish oil that this kid was getting, who is on fish oil, but needs to increase his dosage.

A few years ago this is not something they would have heard, so Stacy thought this was a cool advancement.

They will up this child's intake, and the brand that he takes is Rosita, who is also our sponsor this week.

We love to showcase brands that we genuinely use and love.

A special thank you to Rosita for being this week's sponsor.

You can visit them at this link here and use the code 'thewholeview' to receive 5% off your order.

Rosita was the brand that made Sarah feel comfortable about taking fish oil again.

Quality is really important, and Rosita's fresh cod liver oil (not fermented) is so fresh and wild-caught from sustainable fish.

It is so clean that they don't even need to add flavoring to it.

This is extra virgin cod liver oil that is top quality and is the brand that Stacy and Sarah choose for themselves and their families.

They offer both the oil and the capsules.

Stacy shared a fun fact about the Rock's cod intake.

 

Listener Question

Katie says, "Hi ladies, thank you for your wonderful podcast. (9:55)

I listen every week, and I love everything, from the science to the soapboxes.

My question has to do with fish oil.

Specifically, I've heard mixed research on whether or not it is healthy for people to take as a supplement.

It seems there is a lot of people that say that adding a fish oil supplement is really beneficial, but I recently attended a lecture where they were talking about how it can be damaging to the cells due to how it is extracted, and that we actually don't need it as much as we thought.

As with anything diet and nutrition-related, there always seem to be many camps that people fall into, and I would love to hear your balanced approach on the science!"

 

DHA & EPA

Let's start by talking about what it is in fish oil that is the reason it is so recommended. (11:25)

It really has to do with these two different fatty acids, they are the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, that you have seen as EPA and DHA.

These fatty acids are really important in the body.

They are different from the other main omega-3 that is what we get from chia seeds and flaxseeds, which are abbreviated as ALA.

There are few processes in our body that use ALA, but most of what our body needs are DHA and EPA.

If we are getting our omega-3 from plant sources, our body has to convert the ALA into these longer-chain omega-3's in order for them to do their function.

This conversion is very inefficient.

When we are counting our omega-3 intake, we should only count the long-chain omega-3's.

The main food source that we are getting those from is fish and shellfish.

It is really important for our bodies because they are used for forming fat-based hormone-like molecules in our bodies.

Sarah explained these signals in greater detail.

 

Messenger Molecules

There are three main classes of these molecules that are formed from EPA and DHA. (14:25)

Prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes are classes of messenger molecules produced by many cells throughout the body that are important mediators of a variety of functions, including inflammation.

We want to have the balance between the omega-6's and omega-3's in the cell membrane so that the cells can self regulate what type of signal they are producing.

Sarah explained the way that inflammation serves as the starting point for most chronic illnesses.

What we want is to have a balance in our cells so that our immune system can be regulated.

Prostaglandins have essential roles in a variety of systems in the human body, including regulators of blood clotting, pain signaling, cell growth, kidney function, stomach acid secretion, and inflammation.

Thromboxanes are produced by platelets and serve an essential function in blood clotting by simultaneously causing platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction.

Leukotrienes are primarily synthesized by inflammatory cells and are essential mediators of inflammatory and immune reactions.

 

The Microbiome Impact

Omega-3's are also really important for the microbiome. (20:05)

There is this whole separate mechanism of how omega-3's are impacting our health.

What is really interesting about the gut microbiome is that it is much more complicated than just how much fiber we are consuming.

Our gut bacteria also have essential fats, and need those fats to make their cell membranes.

They have signaling that can change their metabolism.

In addition, they are sensitive to the types of proteins we are consuming.

It is far more complex than, just eat fiber.

One of the things that is really important for supporting a healthy community of gut bacteria is omega-3 fats.

Omega-3's are the most gut-friendly fat that we could eat.

They are particularly sensitive to DHA and EPA.

There are a variety of studies that have shown that with supplementation of fish oil that it does things like improve gut-barrier health, reduces gut inflammation, reduces the production of endotoxin, and helps to drive the growth of important probiotic bacteria.

What is amazing, is that there have been studies in humans where is all they have done is add a fish oil supplementation.

These studies showed that this can correct gut dysbiosis in a very short period of time.

The time markers in these studies range from two to six weeks.

They show a healthier gut microbiome composition, including high diversity, which is one of the most important hallmarks of a gut microbial community.

These are very compelling studies.

 

Chronic Disease Link

Sarah would never (in eating for gut health) simplify it that we need to simply take a fish oil supplement. (23:04)

There is obviously a lot more to it.

We want to be eating the quality protein, a high diversity of vegetables and fruits, we want to be thinking of mushrooms as their own food group, etc.

This is probably a secondary layer of mechanisms on tops of why omega-3's (EPA and DHA) are so important for our overall health.

It also explains why not having enough EPA and DHA is linked to chronic disease risk.

Sarah noted that when you look at the layer of benefits, it is a really good way of emphasizing the importance of this nutrient.

On a related note, Sarah took a moment to share her feelings on the essential and non-essential nutrient labels.

 

The Science

We have this huge collection of studies that are linking higher dietary omega-3s or the amount in our blood cell membrane. (29:07)

Studies that have looked at human health in relation to omega-3's have shown over and over again that the higher the omega-3's the lower the risk of chronic illness.

The strongest signals are diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Supplementation with encapsulated fish oil or fortified foods improves a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors including lipid profile, blood pressure, heart rate and variability, platelet aggregation, endothelial function, and atherosclerotic plaque stability. 

We have this huge collection of studies showing that high omega-3's has all of these outcomes.

So where does the controversy come from?

 

How common is a deficiency?

Sarah highly recommends reading Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger. (34:33)

It is a fascinating story of how the dietary recommendations became lobbyist driven as opposed to science-driven.

This is what has basically colored US dietary guidelines.

Less than 10% of people choose their food based on those guidelines.

Stacy referred listeners back to this podcast episode.

Even though the American Heart Association has targets for omega-3's, it is not something that most people are even paying attention to.

The adequate intake is considered a bare minimum.

For adult women, the recommendation is 1.1 grams daily.

And for adult men, it is 1.6 grams of omega-3's daily.

Studies have shown that on average American adults are consuming .4 grams per day from foods and .7 grams from supplements.

Even though people are getting more omega-3's than they use to, which is predominantly driven by the fish oil supplement industry, most American adults are not meeting the recommendations.

It is still more telling to look at the omega-3 index and look at how much omega-3's are actually in our cell membranes.

The ideal intake of omega-3's is relative to the intake of omega-6's.

So it is really relative to the whole diet, which will vary based on your sources of omega-6's as well as total fat.

What we want is more omega-3 in our cell membranes.

Studies that have looked at the omega-3 index of culture globally and compare different areas of the world in terms of how we are doing - show that in America our omega-3 index is 4.

This means that the amount of DHA and EPA in our cell membranes is 4% of total fatty acids.

In areas of the world where they are consuming a lot more fish that range is typically between 8 and 15%, and somewhere in that range is healthier.

Even with fish oil supplementation being really common, we are looking at about 70% of people not getting enough EPA and DHA.

 

Racial Disparities

There are some racial disparities in terms of the likelihood of lower omega-3 index (40:34)

In America, people of Asian descent tend to have the highest omega-3 index.

Whereas people of Hispanic cultural descent, tend to have the lowest, with their average at 3.6%.

This is an area where Black-Americans do a little bit better than white-Americans.

Black-Americans are at about 4.5%, whereas white-Americans are at 3.8%.

Studies have shown that ethnicity does not change how the omega-3's relate to markers of inflammation.

So how much inflammation there is, is directly related to how many omega-3's there are.

There are no additional layering of complexity with ethnicity.

Stacy asked a question about how/if stress plays into needing more omega-3's.

Sarah responded with a yes and explained a bit about this two-way stress.

 

Quality Matters

Back in 2012, there was this growing number of studies that were showing conflicting information in terms of long-term fish oil supplementation. (44:24)

So what studies were starting to show that over the short-term you could see if you gave somebody fish oil supplementation, that their cardiovascular disease risk factors decreased.

Once you hit the six to eight weeks (some studies showed 12), you would start to see this increase in lipid peroxidation.

This is the oxidative degradation of fat molecules in the body, which is associated with a whole pile of disease processes.

Over time, even though triglycerides would stay low, you would start to see this increase in markers of lipid peroxidation.

There were animal studies where they would give fish oil-enriched diets over a year or two years to mice, showing that fish oil mice lived a shorter amount of time.

At the time, Chris Kresser brought up the issue of oxidation.

In the last few years, this is exactly where scientists have landed on the simplest explanation for this effect.

Sarah explained why these fats are prone to oxidation.

When oxygen does react with a fat, it creates all of these oxidized fat molecules that are problematic and inflammatory.

There is a huge amount of scientific literature, at least in animal studies, showing that consuming oxidized fats or having a process in the body where fats are being oxidized, is bad.

 

How common are oxidized supplements?

What we found is that studies over the last few years have started looking at how much of these fish oils that are on store shelves are oxidized. (48:07)

There are levels that are considered acceptable.

Studies have shown that it is very problematic.

Over the counter fish oil supplements, depending on the study, show that anywhere between 11 and 80% of the products are oxidized.

There was a study done in American fish oil products that showed that 27% had more than double the level of damage oxidized fats than what was considered an acceptable limit.

Stacy asked if these companies know their products are oxidized?

This is exactly why Stacy and Sarah are very particular about vetting brands.

It is very important that we research this information and advocate for ourselves.

Sarah thinks this problem is more about a lack of awareness in this industry that this is an issue.

Since the chemical structure of these fats are easily oxidized, they need to be extracted under ideal conditions.

And on top of that, they need to be bottled and stored properly.

The things that drive oxidation of fish oil are higher temperatures, exposure to oxygen, light, the presence of water, and the presence of heavy metals.

Oxidation is a snowball effect.

It is really important that the fish oil you are consuming is extracted under conditions that will not damage that fat. 

Stored under conditions that will not damage that fat.

It is important to understand that some of the damage can happen after it leaves the factory.

 

Closing Thoughts

If you are taking a fish oil that does not fall into where you would like it to be, please understand that we are not here to shame you or make you feel bad. (57:15)

There is nothing that 'shoulds' will do for you. 

We are here to help you feel more informed so that you can make decisions based on easily accessible science.

The good news is that switching to a higher quality fish oil can have profound effects going forward. 

This is one of those things that you can change and see improvement in going forward. 

There is no reason to feel badly about what you may or may not have been doing in the past. 

If you decide that you want to start taking higher quality fish oil, feel good about that decision and leave everything else in the past behind.

One of the things that was really eye-opening to Sarah when doing research for this show, was that her diet (which does incorporate seafood at least daily) still requires a bit of supplementation. 

Sarah was looking at it from the omega-6's vs. omega-3's intake lens.

Stacy shared a bit on their seafood intake and the way that it tends to ebb and flow with seasons. 

Her favorite way to consume seafood right now is by putting anchovies on Ceasar salad.

This has been her go-to lunch during quarantine. 

Don't forget, you can shop at Rosita, and use the code 'thewholeview' to get 5% off your order. 

We love hearing from you!

Don't forget, if you liked this podcast, please comment and share. 

If you haven't recently left a review, please take a moment to leave one. 

And, if you didn't yet check out Patreon, we are officially up and running. 

There is behind the scenes, not rated-G content there. 

Something special will be up for you if you do join. 

And special thank you to those who have already signed up.

Your support is amazing!

If you want more of that, go and check that out here.

Thank you so much Sarah for all of the science!

We will of course be back again next week!

If you have more topics that you would like us to discuss, please feel free to submit those ideas using our contact forms.

Thank you for listening! (1:07:25)

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 414. (0:27)

Stacy is super jazzed because we are talking about cooking fats this week, and last week she was super into the facts Sarah shared.

We dove superdeep into the details on nut intake and gut health last week, and Stacy looks forward to breaking down the same science as it pertains to cooking fat.

Stacy doesn't have a gallbladder, which makes cooking fats a sensitive subject for her.

Thank you to our returning sponsor, the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club.

Sarah and Stacy shared their love for the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club and how this company selects their harvests for their featured olive oils.

The Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club is a home delivery service of ultra-premium, fresh-pressed, independently lab certified 100% extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

You can visit this link to try your first bottle for free if you cover the $1 shipping fee.

There is no obligation or commitment to buy anything, now or ever.

On any oils you do buy, there’s always a 100% money-back guarantee and you never have to return a bottle to receive your refund.

To learn more about them and olive oil, check out this podcast episode.

 

Brand Validation

Stacy wants to remind listeners, please be mindful of the quality of the oils you are purchasing. (8:03)

We specifically choose sponsors because Stacy and Sarah are sharing about brands that they personally have used, loved, and validated.

Do your research before buying olive oil off your grocery store shelves.

Stacy and Sarah have done their research on this and appreciate that the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club has offered such a great deal for our listeners.

We enjoy these olive oil hunter picks, have for years, and know you will too!

 

The Control Center - the Gut Microbiome

While completing the research for her Gut Microbiome book, Sarah worked hard to not take any bias with her. (10:22)

She tried to simply look at the science and not think about Paleo, AIP, or her food tolerances and intolerances.

What does the science say about how this food or contents in this food impacts the gut microbiome?

When we start getting into how different fats impact the gut microbiome you can see where changes can be easily made and yield significant impacts on our health.

Our gut microbiome literally controls everything.

Gut bacteria control our immune systems, our neurotransmitters, our hormones, and the gut barrier.

So whatever we can do to support a healthy gut microbiome is going to directly impact our health.

It turns out that our gut bacteria are sensitive is more to fiber intake.

They are very sensitive to the types of protein and fats we are consuming as well.

The bacteria that we are trying to grow love it when we consume lots of omega 3's, monounsaturated fats, and CLA.

They don't like omega 6's or saturated fats.

By simply changing your fat sources, you can see huge dramatic shifts in gut microbiome composition and in metabolic activity in a short amount of time.

 

Quantity

As a general rule, we want to be consuming the healthiest fats for our gut microbiome. (14:26)

However, we don't want to go crazy on fats.

The best range for overall health is about 20 to 35% of total calories from fats.

This is considered fats in moderation.

 

Cooking Fats

Fish oil would be the best fat source, but you are not going to cook with fish oil. (15:46)

We are going to assume that fish oil is either a supplement or you're eating fish.

So the things you actually cook with, olive oil, especially a high quality extra virgin olive oil is the best fat choice for the gut microbiome.

There is not a ton of science looking at avocado oil.

We can infer that it is probably second best based on its similarity to EVOO, but more research is needed here.

Extra virgin coconut oil is probably the third best, but the science on this fat source is very contradictory.

It is best to use coconut oil in moderation instead of making it the go-to.

Grassfed butter and ghee receive fourth-place status, but you should absolutely use these in moderation.

There are no studies looking at pastured lard or grass-fed tallow, so we only have studies looking at conventional.

These studies tell us that these are definitely fats to reserve for occasional use.

Same with palm oil and palm shortening, they get an occasional use score.

Vegetable oils are seed oils that are best avoided completely.

 

More on EVOO

There has been a ton of science looking at olive oil-enriched diets and comparing it to other fats. (18:31)

Studies have even looked at extra virgin olive oil versus refined olive oil.

Sarah shared a bit about the gut microbiome and how we are measuring changes to gut health, and what is defined as improvements when researching changes.

When you look at EVOO compared to other fats you see that the best microbiome profile occurs with EVOO.

You can correct gut dysbiosis by adding EVOO, which is a spectacular data point.

Refined olive oil is still beneficial, but not as good as EVOO.

High-quality olive oil is high in monosaturated fats, vitamin E, and polyphenols.

It is probably this collection of beneficial compounds that are responsible for all of these benefits.

These impacts on the gut microbiome are sufficient to explain why olive oil again and again in studies is linked to better cholesterol and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

 

Cooking with EVOO

We have three listener questions in our queue on cooking with olive oil. (24:33)

There is a myth that olive oil has a really low smoke point, but it doesn't actually.

High-quality olive oil can have a smoke point as high as about 410 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than most cooking applications.

This is because it is packed full of different antioxidants that protect the fats from getting damaged in high heat.

Sarah shared on the studies that have been done to test EVOO's smoke point.

We know that olive oil actually, especially when it is high quality, is very stable at high heats for prolonged periods of time.

This is thanks to the same things that are good for the gut microbiome.

Olive oil is one of the most heat-stable fats we can choose.

Stacy pointed out that there is more than one way to look at things.

When we find science that is different from our beliefs it is important to still read the science, learn from it, and evolve accordingly.

It is always important to evolve as you learn new things.

 

Avocado Oil

With avocado oil, there are studies looking at the gut microbiome in whole avocado enriched diets. (30:48)

These show benefits to the gut microbiome, the metabolism, and gut barrier function.

However, when you are looking at whole avocados you are looking at a high fiber food that is also high in vitamin E that are all good for the gut microbiome.

Right now the science doesn't allow us to separate out how much of that good stuff is making it into high-quality avocado oil.

We can infer because of the similarity of composition that it is probably pretty good.

Sarah doesn't use avocado oil very often anymore.

Stacy uses avocado oil a lot in baking since EVOO has such a strong flavor profile.

 

Coconut Oil

When you dig into the science we see these two different effects on a high-quality coconut oil versus a refined. (35:18)

There have been studies using high-quality coconut oil at 20% of the total calories that shows improvements to the gut microbiome.

The science with refined coconut oil-enriched diets, comparting them to diets with soybean oil, showing that there are some potential problems.

There are still some benefits to our gut microbiome, but we do start to see some potential pathogens as well.

Sarah feels that there are two interpretations that can be made at the same time.

One is that quality matters.

A low dose is probably beneficial, and a higher dose is probably not.

This is why Sarah recommends coconut oil in moderation.

We want to keep our saturated fat intake to 10 to 15% of the total calorie range that science has shown to be a healthful range.

In addition, we want to count medium-chain triglycerides because they are saturated fat.

Coconut oil is something that we want to consume in moderation, and we definitely want to seek out the highest quality that we can.

However, this is something that science could dial into further as we are missing the full picture.

Remember, science is a process - it is not static.

This is where we are today with our understanding of coconut oil.

There are definitely unanswered questions that would help push coconut oil up the list or might push it down the list.

 

Butter & Ghee

So butter and ghee have a couple of compounds in them when they are high quality and grass-fed. (42:40)

One of the things that they have is CLA, which is a naturally occurring trans-fatty acid that is associated with all kinds of health benefits.

Grassfed dairy has about 5x more CLA than conventional.

CLA is also very beneficial for the gut microbiome.

It has been shown to partially counteract the negative effects of a high-fat diet.

Butter and ghee are also a good source of butyrate.

The studies that have looked at butter (using conventional sources) have generally shown that a high butter diet causes the growth of pathogenic things and also drives inflammation in the gut.

It is a strong argument against conventional butter.

However, we also have to look at the saturated fat levels associated with even grass-fed butter and ghee.

So butter and ghee, only grass-fed and gets an 'in moderation' stamp.

Stacy shared her thoughts on taking note of what her body tolerates and how to take a logical approach to formulate your own fat intake and what works best for you.

Sarah also shared a bit about what she has learned about her body over time and which fats she tolerates best and how various fats impact her health.

 

Lard & Tallow

There have not been studies looking at pastured lard, and we know that lard from pasture-raised pigs is really high in nutrients that are good for the gut microbiome. (51:35)

Looking at the research, lard has been shown to not be good for the gut microbiome.

There have been studies where they have fed animals lard enriched diets and shown that it causes obesity and a diabetes type gut microbiome.

You actually see negative health impacts on the animals from that.

It increases intestinal permeability and a higher level of endotoxemia.

This encompasses palm oil as well.

What we don't know, because these studies have been done in refined palm oil, is if pastured raised lard would have a different effect on our health.

The data that we have now is concerning enough that Sarah only uses these fats when the cooking application requires this chemistry.

For instance, Sarah uses lard on pie crust.

These fats have been demoted in Sarah's mind.

For a long time, lard was Sarah's go-to.

We know that the fat is healthier when the animal is healthier, but we still don't know what that does to our body.

Stacy still encourages everyone to eat nose to tail if you can.

You can still find ways to make them work for you.

Matt and Stacy use lard to fry things at this point.

This is not a fat source they use every day.

Stacy took a moment to give a plug for the air fryer.

As a result, they really don't fry in lard anymore since they use their air fryer so much these days.

 

Vegetable Oils

It is no surprise to our listeners that vegetable oils are awful for the gut microbiome. (1:00:44)

They are literally toxic to probiotic bacteria.

Sarah shared on the mechanism behind this.

These oils also have no nutritive value.

We are still going to avoid these oils.

 

Concluding Thoughts

The conclusion is that olive oil is the best. (1:03:13)

Stacy encouraged listeners to be mindful of the kinds of fats that are on the ingredients lists of the products you purchase.

Take note of the premade things you are purchasing and how often you are consuming them.

If you are doing the things that we talk about on this show, then having one of those premade foods might not be that impactful to your gut-biome.

Stacy wants to remind people that these toxic fats hide everywhere.

It is easy to swap out these products.

The factors that are influencing gut microbiome composition are additive and complex and are sensitive to many variables.

This is about understanding those variables as best as we can and making the best choices that we can.

There is no reason for stress to go crazy in order to find the replacement food for products with less than ideal fats in them.

Troubleshoot where possible.

The occasional bad choice is not going to kill all of our gut bacteria.

Our gut eco-system is more resilient than that.

Optimize choices and make as many good choices as you can, and remember that it is the sum total of all of these different things that are important.

A little bit of bad in a context of overwhelming good is going to be tolerable.

Stacy wanted to clarify that you are not good or bad defined by the choices you make.

This is a no-judgment zone, but we want to empower you with information to make those choices for yourself.

If you decide to add more olive oil to your daily routine or how you eat, we encourage you to check out Fresh Pressed Olive Oil.

Visit this link to get your first bottle for just $1, which helps to cover the cost of shipping.

If you decide to stay on with their subscription, you can see what other kinds of artisanal oils will be shipped your way.

 

Special Announcement

We have been teasing for a long time that we had something up our sleeve. (1:10:27)

You can now support the show through Patreon membership, which you can do by visiting this link

We have this monthly audio compilation for you that is going to be our uncensored thoughts on each episode. 

This will be unfiltered content. 

Maybe don't listen to this bonus audio with kids around. 

It is meant to be a behind the scenes additional commentary compiled monthly. 

Sarah is really excited to be able to provide this extra window into our thoughts to longtime listeners who are excited to get even more. 

This is a way for Stacy and Sarah to connect with listeners in a really authentic way. 

Stacy and Sarah try to really limit the way that sponsors are incorporated into the show, and this provides a way for you to support the work we are doing and the content we are sharing and the costs that go into producing this show. 

Again, you can check this out here

We hope to have this bonus content launch this week.

Thanks for listening and we will be back again next week! (1:14:05)

  Welcome to episode 413 of The Whole View. On this week's episode, we talk about the benefits of eating nuts on the gut microbiome. Who knew that tree nuts had so many benefits?! All of this and more in episode 413!    If you enjoy the show, please review it on iTunes!

The Whole View, Episode 413: The Gut Health Benefits of Nuts

Welcome back to the Whole View, episode 413. (0:27) Stay tuned to the end to see Stacy's embarrassing blooper! When Stacy started Paleo 10 years ago, nuts were extremely popular, and then the "paleo police" got ahold of them and they became demonized for their caloric density and use in dreaded baked goods. But while moderating nuts is probably a good idea, they definitely do have their benefits! Brazil nuts have a huge amount of selenium for example. Today's sponsor is Georgia Grinders nut butters! Go to http://www.georgiagrinders.com/thewholeview/ and enter THEWHOLEVIEW for 25% off! Sarah found these nuts at her local farmers market way back 7 years ago when they only made almond butter. Now they're launching nationwide in Krogers! Now they do all kinds of nut butters! No added oils or sugars and  own and operate their own manufacturing facility We love the Pecan, Hazelnut and Cashew butters as well!

What's Good About Nuts?

Sarah has found nut research fascinating and surprising as the health community vacillates between love and hate (9:02) Peanuts account for 2/3 of American nut consumption despite actually being a legume (it grows underground, not on trees!) Peanuts have challenges: they're very pesticide heavy and are susceptible to mold. Most scientific studies can't separate out quality. Are the problems with peanuts problems with peanuts or quality? Is it the HFCS or hydrogenated oils perhaps? A mere 20 grams of tree nuts per day is associated with substantially reduced risk (think 20-70%) of cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, kidney disease, diabetes, infections, and mortality from respiratory disease. High fat plant based foods: nuts and seeds, olives and avocados. That's it! Nuts are unique because they have a lot of mineral content. High in polyphenol and phytosterol which lower cholesterol. High in Vitamin E and B vitamins as well.  Unique fiber types and fats that are good for gut microbiome. High in L-Argenine and L-Glutamine, which are essential amino acid they need to consume as well. These amino acids alone change the gut microbiome composition. These properties alone might account for why nuts have all these health benefits. Numerous studies show that people who regularly eat nuts tend to have more favorable blood lipid profiles, and one meta-analysis of 25 clinical studies showed that nut consumption had a dose-response cholesterol-lowering effect. Interventional studies consistently show that increasing nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, even in the context of healthy diets. Plenty of research suggests that, despite their energy density, nuts and seeds don’t contribute to weight gain, and they may even protect against obesity and diabetes. This is probably because of their gut microbiome effects. "Our gut microbiomes basically control our biology. They're more influential on our biology than our brains. Everything about our health is intertwined with the gut microbiome." Read Sarah's Ebook, The Gut Health Guidebook! Different nuts have different Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratios, which is tied to cholesterol and cardiovascular health. But the heart benefits of nuts aren't tied to the ones best for that ratio. If that was the mechanism, than no nut should have that benefit because none had the most beneficial Omega-3s like seafood has. Most likely they are heart healthy because of monounsaturated fat. Nuts and seeds are an early reintroduction on AIP because their benefits far outweigh the reasons you would cut them out (essentially only because they have a high instance of intolerance). Stacy found that dose was important with her reaction to nuts and that quality was important. Don't oxidize your nuts by having them sit for months or buying cheap low quality nuts.

Benefits of Walnuts

Let's talk about the benefits of individual nuts that have been studied (29:44) Sarah is most interested in the mechanisms of provoking health, they "why?" of it. And she keeps seeing it linked back to gut microbiome benefits. Best studied nuts are walnuts, almonds and pistachios. In one randomized, controlled human trial, almost 200 healthy adults were given either eight weeks of a walnut-enriched diet (43 g of walnut per day) followed by a nut free diet, or the same two diets in reversed order. The study found that walnuts significantly increased the abundance of Ruminococcaceae and Bifidobacteria, while opportunistic Clostridium sp. cluster XIVa species species significantly decreased. Overall, walnut consumption appeared to give a major boost to probiotic and butyric acid-producing species in the human gut. Another study tested the effects of eating either 42 g of walnuts or 0 g of walnuts daily for three weeks, and found that walnut consumption resulted in a 49-160% increase in the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium, Clostridium, Dialister, and Roseburia, while also causing a 16-38% lower relative abundance of Ruminococcus, Dorea, Oscillospira, and Bifidobacterium. Likewise, compared to the walnut-free diet, the walnut diet reduced the microbially derived, proinflammatory secondary bile acids deoxycholic acid and lithocholic acid by 25% and 45% respectively, coinciding with a reduction in LDL cholesterol. The researchers concluded that the gut microbiota may play a direct role in some of the health benefits associated with walnuts! In rats, a similar study feeding walnuts versus a macronutrient-matched walnut replacement (corn oil, casein, and cellulose fiber) found that walnuts enriched the microbiota with probiotic bacteria including Lactobacillus, Ruminococcaceae, and Roseburia, while also significantly reducing Bacteroides and Anaerotruncus.

Benefits of Almonds

Because almonds are one of the highest Omega-6 nuts, they're often considered "the worst nut"  but in terms of the gut microbiome, they're fantastic! (38:43) They've compared defatted almonds and skinned almonds, but really the benefit seems to be from the fiber improving species diversity. The more species you have, the more cooperation between species. For example, creating B12 has 30 different processes and it takes many bacteria cooperating to form B12 in the gut. And more species mean less opportunity for the opportunistic bacteria to take over. A study of college freshmen found that eight weeks of almond snacking (vs. graham crackers) (56.7 g per day of almonds) led to a significant increase in microbiota α-diversity and a 48% decrease in the abundance of the pathogen Bacteroides fragilis. In another study, 48 adults were fed a daily dose of 56 g of roasted almonds, 10 g of almond skins, or 8 g of just the fiber as a control.  After six weeks, fecal levels of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly higher from consumption of both the almonds and almond skin, while levels of Clostridum perfringens significantly decreased—suggesting components of the almond skins (present both in whole almonds and the skin only) were responsible for these prebiotic effects. Stacy heard someone redefining how you should think of macronutrients as protein fat and fiber instead of protein fat and carbohydrates, because it's the fiber that will be the health benefits. Sarah agrees the fiber targets are a good idea because fiber is often neglected and is very important. Fiber is carbs we can't digest but our microbiome can! And small changes to fiber molecules mean that some species can break it down and some can't. So variety in fibers is important for species diversity!

The Benefits of Pistachios

Pistachios are different from other tree nuts. They're in the cashew family (same as poison ivy and mango, actually!) (50:18) They definitely contribute to diversity of gut microbiome species like other nuts. Uniquely, they also reduced the levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) measured in the urine. TMAO is the byproduct that is the link between red meat and cardiovascular disease. (though it is unknown whether it's a gut microbiome issue that produces it or if the TMAO causes the bad microbiome). 

Other Nut Benefits

Sarah is going to hit you with her fun facts! (53:19) Every nut and seed that has been evaluated in terms of its impact on the microbiome shows unique benefits. That means variety is best! Hazelnuts and pecans have the highest proanthocyanidin (an awesome class of polyphenols) content Highest contents of ellagic acid (walnuts and pecans) also presented the highest total phenol contents Macadamias and cashews are the highest in monounsaturated fats (also good for microbiome, and heart-healthy) Brazil nuts are super high in selenium, like 1 has 175% of the RDI! And an ounce has 1000% of the RDI! Selenium is important for immune and brain function. And it's why you go crazy from mercury because it permanently binds with selenium. Hatters should have been pounding brazil nuts! 

And Ounce per Day!

An ounce of nuts per day is the best idea. No further benefits after about an ounce. (58:26) Moderation is a "dirty word" in health communities because people use it to rationalize less than ideal choices. But in terms of nuts, this actually is the best option. Going beyond that can increase risk of stroke. So don't go nuts on nuts! Stacy thinks of it in terms of how our ancestors would have eaten them. They're time consuming to get out of the shell and last longer than fruits and vegetables, so moderation seems like what would have been our relationship to them. While there are some primates that do eat nuts as a primary food source. Sarah is curious how these species have adapted to high nut lifestyles.

Closing Thoughts

A huge thank you to Sarah for pulling all of the science together. (1:04:12) Send us more questions through the contact form on the website. Thanks for listening Thanks to Georgia Grinder and their nut butters (Peanut, Almond, Hazelnut, Pecan and Cashew)! Go to http://www.georgiagrinders.com/thewholeview/ and enter THEWHOLEVIEW for 25% off! Handcrafted in small batches in their own facilities, no added sugars or oils or other problem ingredients. Just top quality nuts! We will be back again next week. Thank you again for listening. (1:07:05)  

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