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Nutrition Q&A with Dr. Shannyn Pearce, D.C.

Nutrition Q&A  with Dr. Shannyn Pearce, D.C. Learn the truth about healthy eating that will transform your thinking and make eating healthy a lot easier! A primal-based diet focused on quality of foods, minimizing sugar, and increasing healthy fats can help you achieve your weight loss goals and enhance full body health.

Q: I am trying to minimize my cravings for sweets, any suggestions?
A: Cut out sugar. You will find that about 2-3 weeks into a low sugar diet, cravings go from a 10 to a 0! By eliminating the sugar and anything that turns to sugar, you are flipping your body’s switch into fat-burning mode.

Q: What do you think of safflower oil? It is found in a lot of products.
A: Commercial safflower oil is typically polyunsaturated, which are very unstable and highly vulnerable to oxidation- even at room temperature. This causes the formation of free radicals. Just being exposed to air and light accelerates the oxidation process. When you start heating safflower oil for cooking, the oxidation progresses even further.

The best oils to use for cooking are coconut oil, butter, and grapeseed oil.

Q: Can I get enough fiber if I cut out fruits, grains, and beans?
A: Absolutely – you will get plenty of fiber from vegetables. If you have digestive issues, a healthy diet works wonders for allowing the body to heal and to correct problems.

Q: Can I still have “cheat” meals and have success with weight loss?
A: While this is perfectly acceptable under normal circumstances and for long term sustainability, it is not effective for weight loss. Unfortunately, if you want to be as successful as possible, you will need to avoid the cheat meals until your weight loss goals are achieved. When you are trying to get your hormones under control, it is crucial to eliminate sugars and anything that turns to sugar. Sugar is highly addictive and causes an immediate physiological response in the body. You can avoid it for a month but as soon as you have that one cheat meal, the cravings come right back in full force.

Q: Can you offer an opinion regarding Agave nectar?
A: Agave nectar, while much lower on the glycemic index scale – meaning it doesn’t spike blood sugar as much – is still sugar and has the same effect on the body. It will still cause a rise in blood sugar, insulin, and the body’s inflammatory response. That is why we recommend staying away from it, especially if weight loss is a concern.

Q: I cannot have soy! What is soy lecithin and why is it in everything?
A: Soy is a food that needs to be avoided, in any form. Soy lecithin is a waste byproduct of the processing of soy oil and yes, it is in almost every processed food out there. Your best bet is to stick with whole foods or foods that have been minimally processed.

Q: Are butter substitutes and cooking sprays bad for you?
A: YES! They are man-made products, made in a lab, subjected to extensive processing, bleaching, heat, etc. It is best to stick with the natural foods that have been around for 1,000’s of years like coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.

Q: So while cutting out sugar, does that include fruit?
A: If weight loss is the goal, leptin is deregulated, or the body is in crisis mode, the answer is YES. That is not to say that fruits are not healthy – they are! It is just that when the body is in crisis or weight loss is a concern, all sugar must be eliminated to help the body heal and repair.

Q: Does increased healthy fat intake mean increased breast or prostate cancer risk?
A: No. In fact, if you look at cultures like Polynesia where they eat very high amounts of saturated fats from coconut products, or at some African tribes that eat up to a pound of fat per day, you will not see high instances of breast cancer, prostate cancer, or any cancer for that matter. Healthy fat is actually the #1 missing ingredient in most American diets.

Q: How should I replace grains?
A: Replace grains with more healthy fats and more vegetables. After the first 2-3 weeks, you won’t even miss the grains. In addition, the human species survived for thousands of years before the advent of farming and milling grains. In other words, your body wasn’t built to require grains to survive and attain optimal health.

Q: Can you suggest a good breakfast without grains?
A: Good breakfast options without grains include: eggs, nut butters, smoothies, whey protein, organic yogurt, raw vegetables, smoked salmon, grainless (nut-based) granolas, and berries with coconut milk.

Q: How do you replace pasta?
A: One good “trick” is to use a spiral slicer on zucchini. It looks like spaghetti noodles and will fill out a dish nicely and with a similar texture.

Q: I thought 100% whole grains were good to eat
A: Whole grains can be good for some people, but others have a sensitivity, and it can depend on your ancestry! That may explain the very high level of gluten and wheat sensitivities. If weight loss is not a concern, and you are not facing any health challenges, whole grains can be a healthy part of your nutrition plan.

Q: What can a diet low in sugar and high in healthy fats do for me?
A: Burn fat, detoxify the body, balance hormones, repair damaged tissue, and reduce inflammation!

Q: Is organic beef okay?
A: Organic does not necessarily mean grass-fed. It just means that the animals haven’t been given hormones or antibiotics. Grass-fed is better and you can find it at almost any grocery store.

Dr. Pearce, D.C. specializes in natural health and offers free nutrition classes at Reve Body Sculpting. For more information on how to start improving your health, call 859-219-0626.

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