I remember a couple of years ago when Tanya and I went to the movies to see Katie Couric’s documentary, “Fed Up.” It was eye-opening for sure, but the optimist in me wasn’t as quick as the rest of the audience and Tanya to just demonize the food industry. If you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it. It’s basically a deep dive into the food industry’s evil ways of packing sugar into almost everything we eat. At the time, my thought was, “Well duh, it’s no secret that Americans specifically, and people in general, love sugar. If I was in those executives’ shoes, I would probably do the same thing, because hey – it’s about making money, and I want to keep my job.” I thought this until the food industrys slatest manipulative marketing tactic: plant-based foods.
Now, just to preface, I’m not trying to attack vegans or vegetarians. I know this is a delicate subject, and I’m just going to present the facts. I fully appreciate and congratulate you if you’ve cured yourself of some ills by switching to a plant-based diet. The problem is that along with the old marketing tactic of “no fat” being healthy, you’ve been duped.
Let’s begin with the real key to health. I recently listened to a podcast by Dr. Julie Foucher, former CrossFit Games Athlete, and Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, Fellowship Trained Physician in Muscle Centric Medicine. If you have time, I strongly suggest giving it a listen. The podcast focus was muscle. Dr. Lyon began her deep dive into the ills of Americans with a line that I had never heard before and made our real problem with health as a country/world that much more clear to me. She said, “We aren’t over-fat in this country. We are UNDER-MUSCLED.”
Disclaimer: it’s about to get nerdy. Do you guys remember the old trick question, what’s the largest organ in the body? Remember the answer? Yea, skin. Your skin is the largest organ in the body but what about that layer of tissue right underneath it that has WAY MORE functions? Yea, muscle tissue is really the largest organ in the body. Muscle tissue is responsible for SO MANY FUNCTIONS that occur in your body aside from just moving limbs and providing force to objects. To begin, muscle is the NUMBER ONE place in your body that tells your brain whether or not to retain body FAT. Yes, that’s correct.
As we’ve discussed numerous times in this blog, excess glucose, especially when coming from carbohydrates and mostly refined carbohydrates (breads/doughnuts/pastries/pasta/cereal), is toxic when left in the bloodstream. It’s why Type 1 diabetics need to carry their insulin with them at all times. However, if you have and are working towards building muscle, your body has a new place to store that glucose. If you don’t have or aren’t working towards building muscle there’s only one other place for that glucose floating around your bloodstream to go: body fat. Which of course leads toward Type 2 diabetes. The other very cool thing about muscle is that it also acts as a backup in case of a serious emergency. For example, if you’re in a car accident and you have a serious gash that’s bleeding out, your body will pull glucose from your muscle tissue to help regulate all the other functions in your body that are currently under attack due to loss of blood. Lastly, muscle is really the last thing keeping you out of the nursing home. When you get old and visit the doctor for your annual check up, if he asks you to walk up the stair master and your heart rate skyrockets after a couple of steps, what’s really causing that? Well, what happens when you squat your bodyweight for 5 reps? Your heart rate goes up. Did you just perform “cardio?” No. So, what if you’re so under-muscled that when you walk up a couple stairs your body thinks you’re squatting your bodyweight for 5 reps? Where’s the little mind blown emoji when I need it? Oh here: 🤯
So, how do we get more muscle? Well, obviously through resistance training. But, why did I attack the food companies and their latest marketing campaign of plant-based foods? Protein is why. Most notably animal protein. Human beings need to consume on average 70 to 100% of their body weight in grams of animal protein every day. So, for example, I weigh 160lbs, I should be consuming 160g of animal protein every day on the high end. I can hear some y’all now though, “But the package says you can get protein from the plant-based stuff, too.” Not only is the protein in plant products not the same, you have to eat SIGNIFICANTLY more in order to get anywhere close to your needs, especially if you’re doing any kind of resistance training. And, what did I say earlier about what drives excess glucose in your bloodstream more than anything? Yep, refined carbohydrates.
Human beings need animal protein. Point blank. Period. End of story. It is irrefutable. The environment would do better without livestock? Hogwash. It’s the giant Amazon trucks carrying one package of toilet paper to someone’s house. Red meat causes cancer? Also hogwash. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/whats-the-beef-with-red-meat .The original study that said it does was done with people who already had cancer. What about The Game Changers documentary I saw on Netflix? Well, guess what producer, James Cameron, did after the release of that: https://www.livekindly.co/filmmaker-james-cameron-vegan-pea-protein-investment-ingredion/
That’s right. He invested ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY MILLION DOLLARS into pea protein products.
If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t tell you to do it. Eat more protein, lift more weights. If you’re doing something with high intensity, make sure you have carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits, and some starch in your stomach to help provide you with energy to get through it. If you aren’t doing something with high intensity, avoid dense carbohydrates and especially refined ones or anything you might find on a shelf in the grocery store. It’s that simple.
To learn more about how you can specifically help your short- and long-term health, schedule a time to visit with us!