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The human body and diet

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Is there a [rough] universal diet and sleep-schedule suitable for all humans? Or is it the socioeconomic environment that influences our psychology to eat a certain way?

 

During the 17th century, Japan ate very scarcely - but they did so happily (or rather, contently) with a philosophy in mind. As far as modern Western food consumption goes, we eat strictly for pleasure and do not think too much about the additives and preservatives present in most foods. If you were to explain the way the Japanese ate during this era, I imagine Western medicinal doctors would disagree strongly, especially at how they suggested only ~5 hours of sleep a night will suffice and anymore is counteractive, keep all food and drink consumption to a minimum (even water) and only eat when your stomach is empty but do not eat at night. But people who followed these rules were have said to reach as old as 130 years old...

 

Is it the diet? Belief? Science?

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one of my Qigong teachers is up at 3am every morning, starts his days with an hour of standing, and spends his days holding courses in a variety of disciplines, including Pekiti-Kirsia-Kali. He's vegan and doesn't eat anything after 12 noon.

 

I'm not that disciplined! And don't think I ever will be ... but I'm happy with the medium I've struck, and doubly so when I see where most of my friends and family in my age group are now, from the health perspective.

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Is there a [rough] universal diet and sleep-schedule suitable for all humans?

 

For ideal health...I believe that going to bed shortly after it turns completely dark outside, waking up shortly before the light begins to rise outside...(or for those of us with alarm clocks, roughly 10pm, and roughly 5am depending on the seasons). 10pm is the beginning of the pitta time at night, and 11pm is the Liver hours, so it's good to sleep during that time in order for the body to restore itself. 5am is the beginning of the large intestine hours, so it's good to defecate then upon rising rather than sleeping through that time. 7-8 hours of sleep is good on average...if you're really exhausted from something, then taking more sleep might be necessary for a while. But for every night, 8 hours might even be a bit too much...a little bit less than a full night actually seems healthiest, whereas more sleep might make you lethargic. About the times...well, just think, before we were civilized, when the night came there wasn't much to do apart from sit around a fire, if you have one. If you venture off, it's scary...so you're basically done with the day once it's dark. Nothing left to do, plus you're probably tired from doing things during the day, so you pass out and sleep like a baby. That's living in harmony with the earth and nature's cycles.

 

It's important to have enough exercise in the day (preferably outdoors in the sun and not overly intense...mostly just walking and doing various tasks, such as carrying items, climbing, chopping, swimming, etc, maybe once in a blue moon going for a sprint because you're being chased by a bear lol), and to not have unnatural lighting, so that you can sleep soundly when the hour comes. If you sit and lay around too much, you'll have too much energy left to use, and won't be able to rest...also your energetic and physical channels will be more closed, which means they won't be working properly...so exercise is important, even if it's just going for walks a few times a day to get places. Modern research warns us of the negative effects of too much sitting...to the point that workaholics are even installing walking treadmills in front of their work spaces. lol

 

As for diet, I believe that eating very light in the morning, eating more at noon hours, and eating lighter for dinner is good. The digestive system wakes up strongly at 11am, since that is the beginning of the daytime pitta hours, or basically when the metabolism (agni) is at its highest. It's best to eat light for breakfast, which is basically during the Spleen and Stomach hours, so that they aren't overburdened by a lot of food, but also aren't starving (lately I've just been having congee...rice and water with maybe some other appropriate stuff added). If the body isn't ready to digest for the day, then forcing it to will create unhealthy results.

 

Speaking of timing of digestion...think back to pre-civilization with hunting and gathering. They might have had some sort of refrigeration nearby, such as storing things in a cold river...or perhaps they kept some fruits near them to have in the morning...but basically, when you wake up, you likely don't have breakfast sitting there. You have to go and get food, so perhaps the morning time before 11am is best suited for more physical activity. Ayurveda tells us that these are the kapha hours, and to balance them it recommends exercise at that time. So perhaps ideally, you'd wake up, chill out and stretch for a bit, get unfoggy, have a very light breakfast, then go for a walk to do something...and only after that, do you eat a bigger meal. You're probably very ready to eat at that point, and will savor the flavors of any foods (such as natural ones that have less flavor than our unnatural ones)...which will make the meal more readily absorbed by your body (in contrast to attempting to stuff food down the throat when it only looks half appealing).

 

Of course, eating organic, non-GMO, fresh from the garden, is best. Fresh means there is prana in it, or that your body will reap more qi from the food. In contrast...eating frozen non-organic foods, is not ideal, due to the extra junk in them as well as the fact that it doesn't even have life force in it. Eating only till satisfied and not past the point of being full, since that will overburden the Stomach and Spleen, and create dampness, or in Ayurvedic terms, ama (internal toxins). Another thing that creates ama is snacking on something shortly after a previous meal...the digestive organs need time to do their digestion, so it's best to just have a meal and then wait until digestion is complete after like 4 hours. You can gauge if your body is ready to eat again by the pulse, at the surface or floating levels, if the kapha/ring finger is strongest, then your body is still digesting something...if the index finger is strongest at those very top levels, then you're likely done digesting and your Stomach is ready for more food.

 

Just some ideas from my learnings.

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I don't know the answer, but I'm almost certain that the way most of us do it these days is wrong.

 

just think, before we were civilized, when the night came there wasn't much to do apart from sit around a fire, if you have one. If you venture off, it's scary...so you're basically done with the day once it's dark. Nothing left to do, plus you're probably tired from doing things during the day, so you pass out and sleep like a baby. That's living in harmony with the earth and nature's cycles.

 

Agreed, though it's probably important to think about different places on Earth. At the time you're talking of, people mostly didn't live in places with such short winter days / long summer days.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783

 

 

You have to go and get food, so perhaps the morning time before 11am is best suited for more physical activity. Ayurveda tells us that these are the kapha hours, and to balance them it recommends exercise at that time. So perhaps ideally, you'd wake up, chill out and stretch for a bit, get unfoggy, have a very light breakfast, then go for a walk to do something...and only after that, do you eat a bigger meal. You're probably very ready to eat at that point, and will savor the flavors of any foods (such as natural ones that have less flavor than our unnatural ones)...which will make the meal more readily absorbed by your body (in contrast to attempting to stuff food down the throat when it only looks half appealing).

 

I've discovered this myself. Breakfast makes me less active in the morning, and no less hungry or energetic through the rest of the day.

 

 

Another thing that creates ama is snacking on something shortly after a previous meal...the digestive organs need time to do their digestion, so it's best to just have a meal and then wait until digestion is complete after like 4 hours.

 

But you're not saying that snacking itself is bad, right? <_< I love snacking!

 

I mean, if we're talking about ancient human behaviour/eating patterns, it's quite likely that people would be snacking on berries and roots and nuts when they came across them, and cooking up big meals of meat etc when they got the chance, right?

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But you're not saying that snacking itself is bad, right? <_< I love snacking!

 

I mean, if we're talking about ancient human behaviour/eating patterns, it's quite likely that people would be snacking on berries and roots and nuts when they came across them, and cooking up big meals of meat etc when they got the chance, right?

 

It's probably a grey area...not totally right or wrong. Because if we really enjoy doing something, without a doubt, it's at least partly good for us. If it feels very right, it basically is...like how pregnant women get cravings. They need what they're craving, at least in terms of the nutrients those foods provide, but also in terms of the comfort received from them. So if snacking brings you a lot of comfort, then it's good to some extent. But maybe it still creates ama...I'm not totally sure.

 

I think if there is snacking on small light things like berries etc, the digestion is likely done within half an hour, especially if you're active at the time, which increases the agni (or in our terminology, exercise burns calories). It seems unnatural to me that people in such a situation would be snacking after the meat meal, for instance. We tend to follow what seems most right, and only when we're desensitized and living and eating unnaturally, do we not do what seems right...because we're unable to tell. If living in a natural environment, we're able to clearly see the laws of living by how we feel.

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The Dalai Lama does something similar. Up super super early in the morning. Meditation and prayers. Eats a light porridge breakfast. Eats something for lunch, then is done eating for the day. I think in general that's what Buddhist monks do.

 

I was really good at getting up early when the sun was up early...but now that the sun isn't up until almost 8am, it's getting harder. I'm up around 6:30 now instead of 5:30, but I'm getting it back to earlier and earlier every day. 5:30 is what I'm shooting for again for now. Hopefully earlier as I go on. If I went to sleep and got up with the sun during this season, I'd be sleeping 14 hours a day!

 

But I agree that following nature's patterns is best :)

 

I think in general you can follow a formula. But what works for a typical healthy westerner is not going to work for someone working towards enlightenment. I don't think a person in the west (or east) who works 8-5, hits the gym after work, and does some kind of strenuous sport or hobby on the weekends is going to be ok getting up at 3:30am, eating really light, then eating a still light but slightly heavier lunch, and not eating again.

 

Just like a monk isn't going to do well sleeping from 11pm to 7am, eating 3 good sized meals a day. I mean that's "healthy", but it's not what people working towards more than just physical health are going for.

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Wakes up at 3 am, huh? No eating after noon. Cool beans. I mean, cool no-beans. ^_^

 

What time do you wake, sc? An alarm wakes me at 4:30 am these days. My humble wish is to one day wake without the alarm.

 

:blush:7 o'clock

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:)

 

I am a lazy cultivator. To use the early morning NRG to my advantage is like getting a (positive) kick in the energetic butt! :lol:

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Perfect. The problem with 6 or 6:30 is that I'm a lazy cultivator and I get sucked into using the early morning NPR to get my news kick in the butt!

 

So I need to get up early enough to get my practice in and listen to radio. Need to do my thing before 6:30 or 7, then I can listen to the news.

 

Getting better every day. I have a time change to blame, though...I moved time zones in the last couple weeks and lost an hour, so I'm making it back up, by about ten minutes every morning.

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During my experience in the military i learned alot about how much sleep and food i need.

 

The posts above here are righteous in my eyes.

 

i believe that 5 hours of sleep is substantial if your are living a simple life (even with physical activity). A really important part of sleeping and waking is understanding your own rem patterns and not waking from a deep sleep (there is a word for the cycle that i cant remember).

 

As for diet, of course organic and local foods are the best. As for the amount of food...you are either going to allow your food intake reflect your activity level or vice-versa. It is possible to eat much less than we are used to (the japanese people you were talking about) but the activity level will lower also. Not that lowered activity level is a bad thing, but if you want to get more physical things done in a day you may want to eat a bit more.

 

We can sustain a simple life without excessive activity (output) and without eating too much (input). The modern day life-style in most places do not accommodate this type of input, output. Luckily i live in a rural community, life is easy going and allows me to be simple.

Edited by ValleyStream

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I like your black hills, if they're the same ones I've spent just a very little time in.

 

Yep, I agree.

 

I remember a long time ago, when I was only marginally into all this "stuff", how the idea of some old taoist dude in China with a long white beard, eating very little and very simply, his only exercise long, slow walks in the mountains, was really appealing to me. So he kept active, but did no strenuous work. And therefore could be healthy with the simple, light diet.

 

In the west we think you need to run, bike, basically get strenuous exercise to be healthy. Is that true? I don't know, personally...I'd like to think not. But I'd like to think a lot of things...

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In the west we think you need to run, bike, basically get strenuous exercise to be healthy. Is that true? I don't know, personally...I'd like to think not. But I'd like to think a lot of things...

 

i think it depends on your goals...

 

if you want to run far, run.

 

if you want to bike far, bike.

 

if your want to lift heavy things, lift.

 

if you want to walk through the mountains, walk through the mountains.

 

if your want to keep a garden, keep that biz.

 

All of these are exercise. People do think that they have to do strenuous activity to be fit but look how many of those people become injured. Strenuous activity may get you fit quicker but to what end? To look good? or to do the activity more effectively. Go for a hike if that is what you want to do well. You dont have to run or bike to hike well.

 

oh yeah and stretch...always. always. ;)

 

but this is a thread about nutrition... got a bit off topic. XD

Edited by ValleyStream
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I'm flourishing ever since I switched over to a ketogenic diet.

 

My staple food is pure macadamia nut butter (88% fat calories), which is my main energy source. I also eat protein to meet my RDA of 1g/kg bodyweight, and I eat lots of lettuce to neutralize potential damp heat from a fat- and protein-heavy diet.

 

Before switching over, when I was still eating a carb-staple diet, I had constant food cravings, lethargy from having too much food in my stomach, and blood-sugar issues. Even when I avoided gluten for a long time, and ate rice and beans as my carb staple, I did not feel like my diet was ideal.

 

My body is in ketosis, which means that my body uses fat as primary and direct energy source, being converted in the Liver to ketones. Transitioning from glucogen-mode to ketogenic mode was hard for a couple of days, I almost fainted a couple of times after my body screamed for glucose, but my body quickly normalized in a state of ketosis.

 

This means I don't need to eat any carbs, and I have plenty of enduring, sustaining energy even if I haven't eaten for some time, because my body resorts to bodyfat reserves for energy. A human's brain comprises half of the bodies energy consumption, and can also run perfectly fine on ketones, better in fact.

 

Fat is 2 to 3 times more calorie dense than carbs. A gram of fat has twice as many calories as a gram of refined sugar. This means that you can eat a lot less and obtain the same amount of energy.

 

The human body thrives on fat, the right kinds of fat. My staple Macadamia nut butter is mostly monounsaturated fat (including Omega 7) and its small polyunsaturated fat content almost has a perfect Omega 6:Omega3 ratio of 6.2:1.

The US military adds Omega 7 fat to packaged meals, since it promotes excellent cardiovascular health, and it reduces suicidal tendencies.

 

I contend that the best possible food and energy source on this Planet, is Macadamia nut butter. Nothing else can beat its Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio, its Monounsaturated:Polyunsaturated ratio, its Fat:Carb and Fat:Protein ratio, its perfect edibility and deliciousness.

If you substitute any other nut or seed, the Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio will become too high, or the Fat:Carb ratio too low. Olive oil is also high in monounsaturates, but it is difficult to consume in similarly large quantities daily over a long time. Coconut oil lacks the healthy monounsaturates, and oils in general lack the added minerals and vitamins in whole fatty sources like nuts.

 

Furthermore, I contend that a ketogenic diet with Macadamia nut butter as main energy source, is the best diet possible, especially for the 1 in 4 who are carbohydrate intolerant. Any other diet will have to source energy from sources with inferior properties in one category or another.

 

A balanced diet can still be had, and a lot of foods can be included, as long as carbs are kept below 50g/day and fibrous. I include a lot of leafy greens, since it adds good fiber to an otherwise streamlined diet, and it prevents damp heat caused by a fatty diet.

 

 

Palmitoleic acid, or (Z)-9-hexadecenoic acid, is an omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acid with the formula CH3(CH2)5CH=CH(CH2)7COOH that is a common constituent of the glycerides of human adipose tissue. It is present in all tissues but, in general, found in higher concentrations in the liver. A beneficial fatty acid, it has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity by suppressing inflammation, as well as inhibit the destruction of insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells.[1]

 

Dietary sources of palmitoleic acid include a variety of animal oils, vegetable oils, and marine oils. Macadamia oil (Macadamia integrifolia) and sea buckthorn oil (Hippophae rhamnoides) are botanical sources with high concentrations, containing 17%[2] and 19% min to 29% max[3] of palmitoleic acid, respectively

 

In an analysis of numerous fatty acids, palmitoleate was shown to possibly influence fatty liver deposition/production, insulin action, palmitate, and fatty acid synthase, leading to proposal of a new term, "lipokine," having hormone-like effects.[4]

 

Other preliminary research indicated that palmitoleic acid could have a role as a signaling molecule affecting body weight,[7] a finding consistent with previous observations that palmitoleic acid, among other fatty acids available in the diet, may be used by enzymes affecting fat oxidation.[8] As a consequence, oil types manufactured with high palmitoleic acid content may have a role in addressing obesity.[9]

 

In the United States military, palmitoleic acid has been considered as a component in ready-to-eat meals (MRE). A study for the U.S. Army, initiated in 1996 by the University of Hawaii at Manoa, implied that the monounsaturated fatty acid not only may provide short-term benefits by energy needed in field and combat situations but also may ensure long-term fitness by minimizing risks of cardiovascular disease. Palmitoleic acid-rich products might be especially applicable for certain types of MRE rations.

 

The significance of palmitoleic acid in U.S. military nutrition research is also mentioned in a 2011 study. This preliminary research cites palmitoleic acid as a possible protective factor related to mental health and suicide, and states that service members with higher levels of palmitoleic acid may have lower risk of suicide.

Edited by SecretGrotto
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SecretGrotto:

 

 

Interesting, thanks for sharing. I've experimented wildly with diets, and thrived the best on something similar. Would you mind describing your body constitution, before and after? PM me if you wish. I'm just thinking about if we are similar in this regard.

 

 

All the best,

Mandrake

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i have been reading a little lately on how a person's blood type is a factor to consider concerning what diet to choose.

organic, fresh, wild, and free range for me. i have moved to grass fed beef, bison, or wild deer to satisfy the red meat part.

edit>> i do consume a lot of herbs too.

Edited by zerostao
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i have been reading a little lately on how a person's blood type is a factor to consider concerning what diet to choose.

organic, fresh, wild, and free range for me. i have moved to grass fed beef, bison, or wild deer to satisfy the red meat part.

edit>> i do consume a lot of herbs too.

 

Your diet sounds great.

 

As for blood type considerations, I got this from the source -- Arpad Pusztai, the world's leading lectinologist on whose research all nutritionists who tried to jump on the bandwagon based their assertions (notably the falsifying plagiarist Peter D'Adamo). I was into that for a while, and very much into the science of blood types besides nutrition because it's absolutely fascinating (there's been quite a bit of research into that in some other countries, chiefly in Japan and Russia). So, me and two of my scientifically minded friends contacted Pusztai when we reached a level of understanding that generated questions to which D'Adamo and his later clones had no satisfactory answers. Pusztai is an amazing scientist, and is capable (and was willing) to explain the most arcane subject so that mere dabblers could understand. Long story short: 1) most food derived lectins do not agglutinate blood type antigens; 2) the few that do agglutinate them do this to all blood type antigens, no preference. End of story... :)

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That's why if I follow the AII blood type diet which is supposed to be vegetarian with cereals I am litterally in pain and as soon as I switch to a 5 elements diet all is perfect in my system. Makes perfect sense.

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I'm really interested in this diet Secretgrotto...I think I will give it a shot. What is the cheapest and best source for Macademia nut oil/butter on the internet that you know of? It sounds a bit expensive, but I would like to give it a shot in combination with complete proteins and a very small amount of complex carbs in the morning...but if you really believe and have benefitted from the ketogenic diet I may go all the way.

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I'm really interested in this diet Secretgrotto...I think I will give it a shot. What is the cheapest and best source for Macademia nut oil/butter on the internet that you know of? It sounds a bit expensive, but I would like to give it a shot in combination with complete proteins and a very small amount of complex carbs in the morning...but if you really believe and have benefitted from the ketogenic diet I may go all the way.

 

There may be one benefit of living in South Africa, and that is cheap Macadamias. I pay $2/day for 1400 fat calories from 200g Macadamia butter. In the US and Australia the price is at least 3x more, but still reasonable. Would you complain of eating an almost perfect staple food for $6/day?

 

I don't eat any other fats, and I just need to add complete protein, lots of leafy greens and a general multivitamin (taking Spirulina) to the diet, but I get most of my calories from Macadamia butter. But seriously, $6-$8/day fat replacing all carbs you would've had in your diet, for health, convenience and a simplified life, I'd pay that any day.

 

I think Amazon would have Macadamia butter options. I wouldn't go for the oil, just because it makes it harder (ironically) to consume. Nobody wants to drink oil every day, but eating something as delicious as ice cream, I have to restrain myself with the Macadamia butter it's just too delicious. I don't like whole Macadamias that much, it's not particularly pleasant eating the hard kernels, but Mac butter becomes something different, smooth flavour and texture that is so tasty and easy to eat.

 

Looking at the macros of Peanut butter, it seems to be a really good keto food source, high fat, moderate protein and carbs, and cheap. But, it has 30% polyunsaturated fats, where Macadamia has 4% at a very good Omega6:3 ratio. The polys in Peanut butter are definitely problematic, especially if you eat it every day, and I have a peanut allergy.

 

The most amazing thing about Macadamias is that it's one of the rare few sources of Omega7, sporting 22% Omega7 fats:

 

  • Scientists have recently uncovered a specific kind of omega-7 called palmitoleic acid. This newly discovered fat molecule is so important that Harvard Medical School has applied for a patent on it.
  • It powerfully addresses many of the underlying factors involved in metabolic syndrome. This feat would require multiple prescription drugs to achieve—with potentially dangerous side effects. Omega-7 palmitoleic acid can safely do all this at a fraction of the cost.
  • Omega-7 can reduce risk of type II diabetes, prevent the buildup of atherosclerotic plaque, increase beneficial HDL and lower an inflammation marker called C-reactive protein, which is associated with an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • In these ways, omega-7 is able to powerfully—and affordably reduce risk of the negative consequences of metabolic syndrome—including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening disorders.
  • Omega-7 fats function as signaling molecules that facilitate communication between fat and muscle tissue in your body. This special signaling function qualifies omega-7 to be identified as a unique lipokine—a hormone-like molecule that links distant body tissues to assure optimal energy utilization and storage.
  • Ingestion of just a small amount of omega-7 has a profound effect on the body’s response to energy intake, fat storage, and utilization, all of which are imbalanced in metabolic syndrome. Omega-7 suppresses the production of new fat molecules, especially those fats that damage tissue and raise cardiovascular risk.
  • In fact, omega-7’s beneficial effects resemble those of many drugs (such as Lipitor®, Actos®, Lopid®, and others) commonly used by people with high cholesterol and/or high blood sugar, major elements of metabolic syndrome that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • It reduces insulin resistance and lowers blood glucose.
  • It suppresses fat production and accumulation.
  • It normalizes abnormal lipid profiles (including raising beneficial HDL-cholesterol).
  • It fights obesity, especially abdominal 'apple-shape' obesity.
  • It powerfully suppresses the inflammation that drives metabolic syndrome.
  • Omega-7 doubles glucose uptake by muscle cells, increasing their ability to burn sugar for energy and store it in quick-release, non-toxic glycogen.
  • Omega-7 protects the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas from glucose-induced toxicity; in fact, omega-7 enhances proliferation of pancreatic beta cells, helping your body optimize blood sugar control with its own natural insulin.
  • Omega-7 levels strongly predict insulin sensitivity: One’s odds of having beneficially high insulin sensitivity rise dramatically as their blood omega-7 levels rise.
  • Omega-7’s ability to raise HDL and lower LDL—while also supporting endothelial function—make it extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health.
  • Studies show that omega-7 improves lipid balance by favorably regulating fat production within fat cells, while regulating fat burning. That means less fat deposition—and lower levels of fat and triglycerides in blood and liver tissue.
  • Omega-7 levels have also been shown to be powerful predictors of the all-important endothelial function, the control of blood flow and pressure by the inner lining, or endothelium, of blood vessels.
  • Omega-7s help manage metabolic syndrome because they signal your body to stop storing fat.
  • Animals fed diets rich in omega-7 show significant increases in stomach and intestinal hormones that promote the feeling of fullness (satiety). At the same time, such diets produce decreases in hunger-promoting hormones. The combined effect is a significant reduction in food intake.
  • It improves insulin sensitivity, lowers LDL-cholesterol-triglycerides, and raises beneficial HDL.3,5,22,24,29 It helps manage body weight by promoting fullness-inducing hormones and dissipating hunger-producing hormones.13,32 Perhaps most important of all, omega-7 acts in a unique fashion to stop the inflammation that forms the link between the metabolic syndrome and its life-shortening consequences. - http://www.lef.org/magazine/2014/4/Omega-7-Protects-Against-Metabolic-Syndrome/Page-01

 

Sorry for going on about it, but this natural food source is the secret ingredient I've been looking for my whole life. It's the gateway food to nutritional Bigu, allowing one to eliminate all gluten-like carbs and reduce ones diet without having an energy or nutritional shortfall. It allows one to easily stay in ketosis, at a really reasonable cost and absolute convenience.

 

It makes it a lot easier to enter periods of fasting, because the body will readily resort to stored bodyfat for energy without having to first switch over to ketosis, which _does_ happen every time someone with a carb-diet wants to fast.

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Wow - it does sound like a wonder food - you sure you aren't secretly a Macademia nut salesman? lol...how long have you been on this diet?

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