It is not the intent of this site to provide medical advice. This blog chronicles my fitness and nutrition philosophy based on some combination of my experience, research, and biases. You read, and you decide.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nutrition Philosophy of FuncTrain

I'm not going to spend a lot of time posting on paleolithic nutrition, mainly because I believe other bloggers have already done a great job with it. However, I do want everyone here to have an idea of the concepts that have shaped the nutritional philosophy behind FuncTrain, so I'm going to link to a few articles that will catch a rookie up to speed. with Dr. Kurt Harris is a great place to start: Dr. Harris's 12 steps in order of importance.

I agree with most of the above link, but I'm of the belief that fixing your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio should be a higher priority than #8. Also, I haven't yet read an argument that has convinced me to stop drinking heavy cream. I'm just splitting hairs here, though. PaNu is an excellent resource on my short list of must read blogs.

My opinion of the 3 most important steps in a nice, oversimplified nutshell:

- Eliminate grains and as much sugar as possible from your diet. Fruits are okay in moderation. Just remember that most apples of today have been bred to be sweeter and bigger than anything a paleo-man would have come across. This means more fructose is ingested. If you're trying to lean out and lose fat specifically, I'd recommend very low carbohydrate (VLC) intake. Cut even the fruit. This will force your body into the fat-burning state known as ketosis. More on this later.

- Replace polyunsaturated (read: plant-based) and processed fats (read: trans fat) with natural animal fats. A lot of paleo-dieters avoid dairy. As mentioned above, I think this is way down on the list of priorities if even necessary at all. In the mean time, heavy cream is a great way to supplement the animal fat in your diet.

Saturated fat is not bad for you. Stephan from WholeHealthSource authored an excellent and very readable informal review, Dr. Ron Krauss (a giant in the field of lipid research) throws in his two cents here and to some extent here. Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes, or at least his article, "The Soft Science of Dietary Fat". Or both.

- Start to adjust your omega 3 to omega 6 ratio. Our bodies evolved in a dietary environment higher in omega 3 and lower in omega 6 than the Standard American Diet (SAD. Don't you love acronyms?). This means either supplementing omega 3 with pills, getting more fish in the diet, only eating grass-fed ruminants and pastured eggs, or some combination of the above.

If someone has a specific question about paleo-ish nutrition that I think is relevant, I'll try to dedicate a post to answering it to the best of my knowledge/research capabilities.

Thanks for reading!

Welcome to FuncTrain!

Welcome to the FuncTrain blog. This is a forum for discussing research and strategies for functional training, nutrition, and overall health in a culture in which dysfunction is the norm.

Most of my topics will be approached with an evolutionary slant.

One feature of this site is the "Health Topic Trial". In an ongoing process, I will be compiling research on certain issues I find interesting, presenting the evidence on both sides, interpreting it, and drawing tentative conclusions. This is not a static process, and new evidence can always be presented.

The first few trials will most likely include:

-Raw milk vs. Pasteurized: Is raw milk from local, pastured cows a better choice than "normal" pasteurized milk from the store?

-Brief, high intensity exercise vs. Steady state cardio: Which strategy offers greater benefit, and is there a place for both in an optimal routine?

-Low carbohydrate diet vs. high carbohydrate diets for endurance athletes

Expect future posts to also cover topics such as meditation, Egoscue method posture therapy, myofascial release, kettlebells, barefoot running, tree climbing, and whatever else piques my interest.

Comments always welcome. Enjoy!