Lessons from a Nutritionist (Part 2)

The following are what I learnt from my consultation with John Lynn, Nutritionist at Healthystars SG. I have yet to validate some of these for relevance and truth but most of them make sense and so I have begun implementing them in daily life.  

Advice on…

1. Consuming Chemicals

Next he started highlighting all the major artificial ingredients in our modern diet, some of which even I was not aware I was consuming so much off. First on his list was plastics. Plastics and liquids should not be mixed together. When this happens, plastic molecules will leech into the liquids and eventually that ends up in our system. The most obvious source of this is from our daily usage of plastic water bottles. He advised my mum and I to “go home and throw away all plastic containers and water bottles as well as its contents.” It is important to note that liquids are not limited to drinking water only. They include everything from cooking oils to sauces, soups, vinegar and anything else you can think off. It doesn’t matter if the container says its BPA-free either, some degree of the material used will still leech into the liquids we consume.

From all-plastic Nalgene bottles, boilers and plastic water jugs to stainless steel bottles, boilers and glass jugs.

My family also bought a carbon water filter attached directly to our kitchen sink tap to filter out the chlorine, fluoride and rust from the water supply. Furthermore, I now only purchase cooking oils packaged in glass bottles such as these.

A few other major chemical toxins in our diet include preservatives, artificial flavourings and colourings. Here’s a list of top food additives to avoid.

We can also unknowingly consume steroids, hormones and antibiotics from the meat we eat. Particularly from commercially mass farmed chicken and fish. Farmers inject hormones/steroids in chicken to make them grow big fast and fish are commonly fed antibiotics to prevent the spread of diseases within their cages/ponds where they are reared.

2. Real food: Follow the ANTS!

Regarding the use of preservatives and food additives, especially in processed foods, he gave me the strategy of harnessing the keen(er) senses of the animal kingdom. He told this story of his friend’s cat who was spoiled because it only ate a certain type of fresh fish from the market. One day the fish ran out and his friend went to a different market to buy the same fish but was astonished that the prices there were much cheaper. Thinking he had gotten lucky, his friend was dismayed to find that the cat didn’t want that fish. Apparently, it had been soaked in Formaldehyde/Formalin to preserve it and the cat could smell it.

How do we determine if what we’re about to consume is real food? Trust the Ants! Conduct a simple experiment by leaving a bit of the food out and see if lots of ants are interested in it. Don’t believe the first few ants who come and taste it. Usually these are the guinea pigs and they go back to the nest to tell the others if the food is good (if they die or get sick). When a large number of them show up and eventually form a line of ants bringing it back to their nests, then you’ll know your food is clear!

From my experiments, the ants swarmed a piece of steamed meat (from a ba zhang) but weren’t interested in something like a fishball at all until I broke it up and exposed some of the oily surface. Still, it says something about the fishball and similar artificial foods.

3. Krebs Cycle vs Cori Cycle

He then touched briefly on our metabolism and briefly showed me one pictorial slide comparing Krebs and Cori Cycle and pointed out that most people are operating on the Cori. Primarily due to our diet and lifestyle, the lack of vitamins and amount of processed junk passing through out system has left most of us operating primarily with the Cori Cycle to obtain ATP instead of with the more efficient albeit more time consuming Krebs Cycle.

Here was where I was a little confused since I was taught that most of the time (like when we aren’t doing a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or sprinting from a lion) we get our energy from the Krebs cycle. And isn’t Cori cycle only in the picture when we exercise anaerobically?

Maybe what he meant was that we aren’t operating with our Krebs cycle as efficiently as we could and most of our food doesn’t go through the whole Krebs cycle so instead of obtaining say, 30/32 ATP from 1 molecule of glucose, the cycle is interrupted and we get less than desired?

I did some digging on his blog and this was the closest I could find on the topic but its still very brief and vague.

4.Gout, diet and our Kidneys

Next, he touched on gout and how his brother had gout and was relieved from the pain in about 2 days from taking a supplement of his called Wobenzym N. He said that gout has more to do with our kidneys not being able to do their original job of clearing excess uric acid because they are too busy trying to clear the excess glucose in our diet.

I then wanted to tell him about all the diet plans I had been following such as the ketogenic diets and more recently, the Paleo Autoimmune protocol but he brushed them aside saying I can eat anything I want; “Humans are designed to eat almost anything and everything. Eliminating foods like gluten is akin to eliminating an entire group of food which are an important source of food for civilization. Besides, it isn’t practical and makes it especially difficult when you go out and need to socialize.”

At this I was left very, very confused. Probably from doing all the research the past few years on diet and how it affects us. In fact, I’ve been feeling so great on my paleo cyclic-ketogenic diet. My body composition has never been leaner, energy levels were stable and long lasting and apart from the autoimmune musculoskeletal pains, I felt way healthier and younger than before. Should I listen to his advice?

5. Supplementation

Trying to heal yourself with food can be tedious and take a long long time. For example, I have been drinking bone broth for close to a year now and still have not been able to heal my leaky gut – as evidenced by the flare up of inflammation levels at the beginning of this year and its continued progression in destroying my joints.

Thus the need for supplementation to speed up the healing process. In the next part, I will cover the various supplements he prescribed for me.

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