Fast foods and processed foods which are generally high in sugar,refined carbohydrates,salt and unhealthy fats have sadly sadly become the merry-go-round for America.The well-known “liquid candy” according to the Center For Science in the Public Interest propels increases in insulin  and cortisol levels thereby distorting neurochemical balance that leads to persons craving for more of the sources of these blood-sugar-insulin problems.

Two thirds of Americans are said to be obese,an abnornality that contributes to the inflammatory processes in fat cells. C-reactive proteins and interleukin-6 both aggregated by fat cells promote inflammation which is the hallmark of heart disease,arthritis,Alzheimer`s disease and most cancers.

The Right Breakfast:

Skipping breakfast is not a wise choice because of prolonged hypoglycaemia resulting from a high-sugar,high-carb breakfast which triggers hyperinsulinaemia and concomitant hypoglycaemia.When the body is in temporary hypoglaemic state,the adrenal glands are stimulated to produce cortisol which aggravates for the craving for more sugar and high-carb  diet.

High insulin levels puts the body in “fat-storage” mode,facilitates the storage of the sugars and carbs as glycogen in the liver and the excess as fats.Ofcourse,when this phenomenon is sustained or repeated,the excess blood sugar is converted to fats in fatty tissue by the liver.This forments the developmnent of the metabolic syndrome, and person becomes a candidate for Heart disease,dyslipidaemia and Diabetes.

The ideal food or breakfast should hence have low-glycaemic index balanced with healthy lean fat and organic proteins.Essentially three well-balanced meals throughout the day and two well-balanced snacks in between.

I keep advising my patients to be liberal with:

  • soups
  • skimmed milk
  • fresh leafy vegetables especially the green,yellow and orange varieties.
  • sushi
  • blueberries
  • Almonds
  • salads
  • salmon,tuna.

Eating your way to stress reduction
Nutritionist reveals stress-free foods.

The Right Proteins :

Men do not generally need more than 4-5 ounces of protien per meal and women 3-4 ounces per meal.I t is preferable to choose the leanest part of meat with little f at.Choose white meat rather than red while trimming the skin and any visible fat from poultry and chicken.Avoid frying your meat as much as possible especially deep frying which tends to generate free radicals from fats.These are unpaired electrons that destroy tissues and trigger a cascade of inflammatory reactions  and diseases like eczema,psoriasis,osteoarthritis,bursitis,rheumatoid arthritis,ulcerative colitis,Crohn`s disease,Alzeimer`s disease.

Strongly limit intake of lamb,beef,egg yolks,shrimp,lobster,pork and high-fat diary products because of their high content of arachidonic acid which are converted dangerous inflammatory triggers in the body: eicosanoids and prostaglandin E2.

Limit also sources of high sodium,fats,nitrites and nitrates found in bacon,hotdogs,ham,sausage and packed luncheon.These are fearly converted in the Alimentary canal to potently carcinogenic substances; the nitrosamines.

The Right Carbohydrates :

Carbohydrates induce insulin release and lipogenesis,hence high carbohydrate foods like starch,processed grains (white rice,processed pasta and white bread) and high-glycaemic fruits will hasten hypoglycaemia due to hyperinsulinaemia leading fat accumulation,obesity,then stress.

Conversely,low glycaemic carbohydrates like lettuce,cabbage,spinach,kiwi,berries,whole grains and bran will not cause insulin spike and henve no likelihood of hypoglycaemia thereby reducing the possibility of diet-induced stress emanating from accumulation of fats especially abdominal fat.An firm grasp of the proper diet with low glycaemic index is the key to preventing hypoglycaemia,hyperinsulinaemia and high cortisol levels.

Healthy Fats :

Healthy fats should be low in saturated fats and trans fats.Abuse of saturated fats have been associated with cardiovascular disease, colon, breast and prostate cancers.Fats are essential for good health  by virtue of their multiple functions like maintaining the integrity of ceel membranes,constituting the major psrt of the brain,enhance nerve connections and forming the building the blocks of hormones and most anti-inflammatory compounds in the body.This is prominently in the omega-3 fats found in king salmon, pacific herring, mackerel, atlantic salmon, tuna and lake trout.

Monounsaturated fats (omega-9 fats) facilitate or modulate the right fuel mixture to lower insulin and cortisol levels.Sources include olive oil, nut oils, avocado and almond butter.

Andrew Okpetu