Kelly O’Connell has type 1 diabetes and is a Registered Dietitian (RD), practicing a paleolithic lifestyle, you can read more about her at the bottom of the page.
(Questions asked by BPcharts, answers all by Kelly O’Connell (RD))
Before advising someone on what to eat and what to supplement with, I first need to understand if there is anything else going on with their health, such as diabetes, kidney disease, etc. I also want to know what medication they are taking.
Generally speaking though, I advise to eat a diet with healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil, grassfed butter) and high-quality protein with moderate carbohydrates, sourced from mainly vegetable roots and tubers and fruit.
(We are usually told the opositve, so I asked Kelly to explain the advice for high fat/low carbs) In a nutshell, there is a lot of research challenging the high carb, low fat theory, or the lipid hypothesis, and I have found success with clients and as a type 1 diabetic, eating a fair bit of fat and eating low carb. I am not talking an Atkin's diet, but a diet of high quality foods, that is clean of gluten, low in lectins and more. Gary Taubes' book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories," has heaps of research dispelling the high carb idea, along with other credible resources.
Important foods to consider are those rich in potassium (bananas, avocado, herbs, cocoa, nuts, and tomatoes), magnesium (pumpkin, squash, cocoa, nuts, fish), vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, celery) and vitamin E (almonds, herbs, olives), omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish like salmon or sardines) and flavonols (red wine, grapes, cocoa). Do you see a trend? I am a believer in dark chocolate/cocoa nibs and consume cocoa in one shape or another daily.
However, more important than knowing what to eat is knowing foods to cut back on, including foods high in fructose and processed foods (chips, deli meat, breads, pastries, cookies, desserts, etc).
Fructose, simply put, is a type of sugar. It is under a lot of scrutiny causing detrimental things to our health including hypertension. While the jury is still out, there is a true consensus that fructose does more harm than good. The important take away is to know what foods are high in fructose i.e. candies/lollies, cold breakfast cereals, desserts such as ice cream, cake, muffins, salad dressing, breads, pizza,crackers, canned fruit and juices with added sweeteners and more.
My recommended supplements include high quality fish oil or better yet, fermented cod liver oil, Himalayan sea salt and CoQ10. Food always comes first.
You may be surprised to hear that I do not stress salt restrictions. Processed foods should certainly get more vigilance in this space. I think overall sodium claims are blown out of proportion and certainly, I strongly advise the use of Himalayan sea salt. Overall, individuals need to self-assess how salt makes them feel. If the consumption of salt makes someone retain fluid or make their heart palpitate/speed up, then a reduced salt intake should be implemented. However, I think there are far more important actions to take than demonizing salt. Focus should zero in on stress levels, adequate sleep, exercise, eating whole foods (this does not include whole grains) and maintaining a healthy weight.
Grassfed/free range meat – protein is essential and free range meat, ideally beef, has an optimal fatty acid ratio, up to 6 times more omega 3's compared to the grocery store variety. Certainly, omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in every cell and system in our bodies. Beyond the nutrient profile grassfed/free range beef offers, it is a great tool for optimal health. It is satiating, protective against cancer and cardiovascular disease, has low insulinogenic properties and more.
Coconut - whether it is coconut oil, flour, cream or milk, I welcome it all. I consume this functional food daily, reaping one of the thousands of benefits it offers. In traditional medicine coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems and it is so versatile to use. I make pancakes from coconut flour and milk, I cook with coconut oil, especially with eggs and coconut cream is delicious with berries.
Pumpkin - is loaded with healthy starches and it is absolutely delicious. Pumpkin is nutrient-rich, easy to make and can satisfy a sweet or savory craving. I have learned to cook pumpkin in a variety of fashions from pumpkin soup (with coconut milk and cinnamon), roasted pumpkin salad (with pine nuts, spinach, feta and homemade balsamic dressing) to pumpkin porridge (mixing puree pumpkin with eggs, nuts and raisins). Pumpkin can also serve as a dessert by garnishing it with spices and honey.
Free range eggs – they are one of few foods that naturally contain vitamin D and are far superior to caged eggs when it comes to nutrient content. They are rich in vitamin A and E and omega 3 fatty acids, among many other important vitamins and minerals.
Fermented foods – I am all about gut health and a happy gut, makes a good immune system. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, etc provide probiotics to our intestines. There are plenty of benefits to adding probiotics to our bodies, including protection from colon cancer, relief from lactose intolerance and diarrhea, reduction in cavities, and more. Improved digestion means more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed, making you an overall healthier being.
Kelly O’Connell has type 1 diabetes and is a Registered Dietitian (RD), practicing a paleolithic lifestyle, creatively combining communications skills with a passion for wellness to champion dynamic nutrition strategies to optimize clients’ health. Enthusiastically, Kelly is observing the health differences while living in Australia compared to her native country, the USA, and understanding how consumers adapt to varying food industries, marketing and lifestyles. Regardless of where Kelly lives or has lived, advertisements are everywhere and it takes diligence and education to move beyond cravings that do not optimize our health. Kelly strives to find curiosity in life, especially in well-being. To learn more about Kelly, please visit http://paleoinfused.com
High Blood Pressure Causes 62% of all Strokes and 49% of all Heart Attacks... Check your BP on the blood pressure chart. If the chart shows you are in the prehypertension or hypertension ranges, do something about it, even if it is just having a chat with your doctor. The blood pressure chart is for all adults regardless of age, as whilst your age rises, the thresholds for prehypertension and hypertension don't! (there is no blood pressure chart by age!) No matter what your age - if your BP is above 140/90 you should set about lowering it. You can record and monitor your readings on our printable blood pressure log.