Dr. Betty Lacy, M.D.

Diet / Recipes thumbnail image

OPTIMIZING YOUR DIET
WITH NUTRITION THERAPY

DIET: Your Nutritional Therapy

Instead of diet, I like to call our daily habits around nourishment, nutritional therapy. Can we examine how, what and when we nourish ourselves? If you're like me, most of my life I haven’t really thought too much about what or when I ate. I ate because it tasted good and I was hungry. Up until 5 years ago, I never paid too much attention to labels, sugar content or food additives. Now I look closely at what I put in this body. I make conscious decisions every day about what is best for my brain and my body. I choose organic most of the time but I also choose from the “Clean 15” and avoid “the Dirty Dozen. I’m not perfect. I like to say I'm 90% good 10% fun.

What if we can tell what diet works best for you by looking at your biomarkers? This is the idea behind precision medicine, a major shift in paradigm that is changing the healthcare field. Instead of a guessing game of what diet is best for you, the choice is based on science. There are many diets out there and which one is best for you will be a part of your Brain-Body Health evaluation. (1)

In functional medicine, we look at much tighter control of blood sugar than what has been standard of care in most clinics. We believe these higher acceptable levels of blood sugars (up to 100mg/dl), are contributing to the epidemic of diabetes. Elevated blood sugar is due to carbohydrate intolerance (too many carbohydrates), leading to insulin resistance and eventual prediabetes increasing the risk of dementia. It is estimated that 20%-40% of dementia could be reversed with the normalization of blood sugar levels. Dr. Bredesen, the first researcher to reverse cognitive decline, considers insulin resistance to be the single most important factor in reversing cognitive decline and preventing dementia.

Why would anyone give up breakfast? Intermittent fasting (IF) and time restricted feeding (TRF) are discussed in the article under resources. Both of these approaches are stressing that it is not only important what we eat, but when we eat. Research supports eating windows of 10-12 hours or less per day, which result in lower insulin resistance, decrease weight, improved cognition, and decreased inflammation. (2,3) This is good news for the brain and why many are changing their dietary habits.

WHAT YOU WANT AND DON'T WANT TO EAT:

GREEN LIGHT FOODS:

EAT FREQUENTLY

YELLOW LIGHT FOODS

EAT LESS FREQUENTLY

RED LIGHT FOODS

AVOID IF POSSIBLE

Mushrooms

Starchy Vegetables; potatoes, corn, peas, and squash

Sugar and Carbohydrates; bread, pasta, whole wheat, pasta, rice, cookies, cakes, candy, sodas

Cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts

Legumes; peas, beans

Grains

Leafy green vegetables; kale, spinach, and lettuce

Nightshades; eggplant, peppers, tomatoes

Gluten

Wild-caught fish; salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring

Non-Tropical fruits; low glycemic 3 berries

Dairy

Pastured eggs

Pastured chicken

Processed foods

Resistant starches; sweet potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, and green bananas

Grass fed beef

High mercury fish; tuna, shark, swordfish

Probiotic foods; sauerkraut, kimchi

Wine

Fruit with high glycemic indices; pineapple

Prebiotic foods; jicama and leeks

Coffee  

Herbal tea, black tea, green tea

   

Sulfur-containing vegetables, onions, and garlic

   

Dietary Guidelines from Dr. Bredesen:

  1. Eat foods with glycemic index less than 35

  1. Avoid fruit juices and tropical fruits

  1. Avoid the “Berfooda Triangle;” simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, and lack of fiber (examples french fries and hamburgers)

  1. Avoid gluten and dairy as much as possible

  1. Eat detoxifying plants (examples cruciferous plants such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale, radishes, brussel sprouts, seaweed, garlic ginger…)

  1. Include good fats in the diet (example avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil)

  1. Avoid processed foods “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” - Michael Pollan

  1. Eat fish lowest mercury levels (SMASH: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring)

  1. Think meat as a condiment, not the main course

  1. Probiotics and prebiotics - optimize gut health (jicama, onions, garlic, raw leeks, Jerusalem artichoke, dandelion greens)

  1. Digestive enzymes may be helpful

  1. Optimize nutrition and cognitive protection (see supplements)

  1. Take specific herbs to protect synaptic functions

  1. Avoid damaging your food when you cook it (moist heat, shorter cooking times, lower temperatures, lemon, lime vinegar to avoid AGE’s [advanced glycation end products]. AGE's are inflammogens and put you at risk for diabetes, cancer, and increased inflammation.

    1. Grilling, searing, roasting, broiling, frying will produce AGE’s

RESOURCES: Diet: Your Nutritional Therapy

1) Link > Science DailyScience Daily In this study fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin were identified as biomarkers that helped identify which diet worked best for individuals. Prediabetics did best with a Mediterranean diet rich in veges and whole grains. If you were already diabetic increasing your fats produced better outcomes. The changes were irrespective of caloric restriction.

2) https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-diet-strategy-that-counts-time-not-calories- The importance of time restricted feeding (TRF) as a new method for improving our health

3) https://blog.bulletproof.com/keto-intermittent-fasting-weight-loss-diet/ The benefits of keto-IF

4) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190806101530.htm? Dietary choline associates with reduced risk of dementia

 

​​RECIPES:

BONE BROTH - Lots of information on the importance of collagen these days. I was surprised to hear that we lose 1% of muscle mass per year and 5lbs per decade. One way to build muscle mass is by adding more collagen to your diet through bone broth. Today 7/5/18 after encouragement from my niece Martina, I gave this recipe a try and it came out great. All you need is an instant-pot, chicken bones and old or fresh cuttings of veges from your fridge or garden.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BONE BROTH

Easy, nourishing and incredibly economical, bone broth is a great way to stretch your food dollar and provide your body with gut-healing goodness.

  • AUTHOR: THE REAL FOOD DIETITIANS
  • PREP TIME:10 MINS
  • COOK TIME:2 HOURS
  • TOTAL TIME:2 HOURS 10 MINS
  • YIELD:~3 QUARTS BROTH
  • CATEGORY: PALEO, WHOLE30, INSTANT POT

INGREDIENTS:

  • Bones from 1 3-4lb. chicken
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut in half
  • 1 medium parsnip, scrubbed and into large chunks (may substitute more carrots, if desired)
  • 3 celery ribs (or ends and leaves to equal 1 cup)
  • 1 large yellow onion/leeks, quartered with skin and root end in tact
  • 6 cloves of garlic, lightly smashed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8-10 peppercorns
  • Handful of fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme and/or parsley; optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Sea salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place bones, vegetables, aromatics, peppercorns, herbs (if using or leftover from your Whole Chicken) and vinegar into the pot of the Instant Pot.
  2. Add enough water to just cover the bones and vegetables in the pot.
  3. Wipe rim of insert dry with a towel. Place lid on Instant Pot and lock into place.
  4. Flip vent valve to ‘Sealing’.
  5. Select ‘Manual’ setting and adjust time to 120 minutes.
  6. When cooking is done, allow pressure to release naturally (10-20 minutes).
  7. Release any residual pressure using the vent valve before removing the lid.
  8. Allow broth to cool before straining into jars for storage.
  9. I use 1/2 pint glass canning jars and freeze, but you can also freeze into cubes or use silicon muffin cups.

RESOURCES: RECIPES

Betty Lacy, M.D.

Dr. Lacy specializes in the field of brain health, cognitive resiliency, genetics, and mental health. Learn More >

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