Podcast Episode #139: Dr. Oz, Fish Oil, Nose Blowing, What’s Missing from My Paleo Diet

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The Balanced Bites Podcast - Episode #139 | Dr. Oz, fish oil, nose blowing, what’s missing from my Paleo diet Topics:
1.  Liz’s updates [4:00] 2.  Diane’s updates [9:37] 3.  “Gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthy [17:04] 4.  Dr. Oz and saturated fats [28:32] 5.  Mucus, mucus, everywhere [33:37] 6. How can I get good nutrients in if I avoid superfoods? [40:56] 7. How to transition from a low-fat to a higher-fat diet? [48:02] 8. The difference between fish oil and cod liver oil, and what tests to get at the doctor [53:57]

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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 139 of the Balanced Bites podcast. Liz here, Diane there. Tweedledee and Tweedledum here to bring you some nutrition information banter and all around Balanced Bites fun. Sponsors: Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. If you’d like to make eating paleo a little easier on yourself, checkout Pete’s meal plans. The meals are great for those nights when you’re on the run or out of time and you need real food fast, but they’re also great for those nights when you want to eat something created by a trained chef who adds a little bit of unicorn sprinkle magic to every bite. {Laughs} It’s just amazing. Pete’s Paleo is generously offering our listeners a free pound of bacon with the purchase of any meal plan. And the code to enter is BBLOVESBACON at petespaleo.com. Just a note that 1 cent will come off your order total with that code, but they’ll throw in your bacon, so no worries there. Chameleon Cold-Brew, available at lots of grocery stores nationwide. Check out their website for a store locator. Chameleon Cold Brew is organic, fair trade, smooth, rich, and delicious. We loved it iced {ice rattles in glass} iced coffee! Black with grass-fed butter when it’s warmed up, coconut milk. Again, check the website for stores, and sit tight for online ordering. And finally, Diane sat down with our newest sponsor, from Rickaroons, recently and they had a little chat, so let’s cut to that real quick and we’ll be back.

Diane Sanfilippo: So why is the tagline for Rickaroons “dessert fuel”?

Rickaroons: So, my dad created the tagline kind of in response to the same question that we were getting every week at our local farmer’s market, which is where we started. And that is, we’d have people come up and they’d go, are Rickaroons something that taste good, or is it healthy? And so with “dessert fuel”, we really wanted to emphasize it’s not just a cookie, it’s something that you can eat pre/post workout. You have your coconut, your almond butter. It’s sweetened with coconut palm nectar, which is super sustainable, super low glycemic index so it’s nice and slow burning, so you’re not going to get that same sugar high and then low that you would with most sweets. At the farmer’s market, it’s like every week we get people coming up to us and one person will say, I bought a dozen last week, and they went over great at this dinner party that I had, as a dessert. And then the next guy will come up and he’ll be a triathlete, and he’ll be like, oh I ate the Megaroon and the chia seeds and cacao nibs got me through my last race. So we kind of wanted to fuse those two worlds together with “dessert fuel”.

Diane Sanfilippo: And we have a special discount for our podcast listeners for Rickaroons; if you use the code PODCAST at Rickaroons.com you’ll get 15% off your order.

1. Liz’s updates. [4:00]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, awesome. Awesome! So, my updates. Me, Liz. I had a book signing; I think my first book signing without you, Diane. Were you sitting at home just wishing you were there?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Was it sad?

Liz Wolfe: It was sad without you. But, surprisingly, people still came, even though you weren’t there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Imagine that.

Liz Wolfe: I know, imagine that. So that was at Crossfit Duck Creek in Dallas last week, maybe two weeks by the time this episode airs. But I did want to just thank Crossfit Duck Creek, and the owner, John, who has an amazing before and after story. He’s just so passionate about what he’s doing. It’s a really good community, and just really based around people living their best lives, and I was really impressed. It was great. But, his before and after story is amazing. If you stop by, definitely ask him. And then, let’s see, Diana, who you and I both know Diana, and Karen were amazing getting things organized on really, really short notice. It was literally like 5 days notice, so I really appreciated that. Met some really great people. A group of NTPs who are going through the program or have finished the program and are doing great things. And, what else? Phyllis, who also had an amazing before and after story, I know she listens to the podcast so I wanted to say hi to Phyllis. What else did I do in Dallas? I got Scout! I got little Scout, little puppy Scout from April.

Diane Sanfilippo: The family is growing.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. My grandmother says I’m nesting. Which I don’t really know what that means. So now we have a little puppy. And Scout is a girl’s name. I think people don’t, I don’t know why people don’t understand that Scout is a girls’ name. Little Scout is a girl, Scout after the main character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. And also, since you have a Harper, of course I had to have a Scout. I thought it just made sense.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awwww. Cute.

Liz Wolfe: Aww. And they’re about the same size. So she’s real cute.

Diane Sanfilippo: My puppy’s with me right now.

Liz Wolfe: Harper! She’s so sweet. I’ve never had a puppy before. We got Cal; we rescued Cal as a full grown dog, so this is, I mean literally, this is the first time I’ve ever had to be, how many shoes can a dog eat in 5 minutes?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’m actually kind of interested. But she’s so, so sweet. And she was fostered by April, ButterfliesPeacePaleo on Instagram. So Scout is a rescue; we’ve got a bunch of rescues here in the house just hanging out. So that’s great. Business stuff. We’ve got an Eat the Yolks signing in Kansas City on June 1. You can go to RealFoodLiz.com to look at the sidebar, get the link to sign up for that. That’s going to be really fun. It’s at the gym where everything started for me, at Coach Rut’s gym, boot camp fitness, Kansas City. That should be great. Last week we released a free mother’s day menu via Good Food for Bad Cooks, and we’ll continue releasing free content, so if you missed the mother’s day menu, no big deal you can sign up for our email list if you’re not ready to jump right into the community, and you’ll be able to be notified of when we’ve got free stuff coming out. But definitely go check out GoodFoodforBadCooks.com. We’ve got a bunch of free content just floating around the site, so you don’t have to be a member to get some of that good stuff. We’ve got a ton of infographics and good stuff happening. Be sure you’re signed up for email Mondays, too, you’ll get notified for stuff there. Gosh, I have a lot of stuff here…

Diane Sanfilippo: What else is there? Real Food Liz…

Liz Wolfe: Oh! Real Food Liz Radio! Every once in a while now, I’m thinking once a month, I’m going to spend about 30 minutes recording Real Food Liz Radio. The first episode I put out last week or the week before was with Summer Innanen, who is a nutrition professional, just all around awesome gal who is doing a 10-day body confidence make-over. We talked about that a little bit. I’m hoping I can beg you on the show, Diane… Come on, and just talk about quotes from Mean Girls, you know, stuff like that. Just keeping it light. But, just for fun. You know, now that I’m out here at the homestead, I can’t just talk to goats all day. I mean, I can, but I probably shouldn’t, so I thought I’d put a little bit more of me out on the internet. I had a couple of people asking me, how is this different from the Balanced Bites podcast? And the answer is, in every way humanly possible {laughs}. So basically I’m just rambling for half an hour. Just kind of light stuff to put out there. It’s so hard to cut through the static of the internet these days, and so I feel like it’s good to just kind of try and maybe replace Facebook with one or two things, so I’m trying to be a little more active on Instagram. And then I thought, hey, might as well record myself talking to folks for half an hour every now and then.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m definitely, like, tapped out on nutrition after however many hours we end up talking about it on the podcast. No, I’m kidding.

Liz Wolfe: Hours and years. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I count our friendship in Balanced Bites podcast episodes, by the way.

Diane Sanfilippo: Obviously.

Liz Wolfe: How long have we been friends? 139 episodes.

Diane Sanfilippo: {singsong} Five hundred twenty five… ok.

Liz Wolfe: {gasp} six hundred minutes!

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m a big fan of musical theater {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: So, I was in a sorority. Chi Omega! Chi Chi Omega! C-h-i-o-m… I don’t know if I’m allowed to sing that in public. But we did a song every year, like a revamp of that song. “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes! Ok we’re going to cut this out. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re losing our listeners. Little by little.

Liz Wolfe: Little by little. So, what are your updates?

2. Diane’s updates [9:37]

Diane Sanfilippo: I just have a couple of quickies. The SIBO guide… I’m totally turned around on our calendar. I’m like, what day is it? When is this airing? So, this episode will air, you’re listening on or after May 15th. So, the SIBO guide went out on May 2nd, and that is a 50+ page guide only available to subscribers on my emailing list. If you didn’t get it, by the time this episode is airing, hopefully you would have already joined up and you would have received an email again on May 9th. I typically send my emails out on Fridays, mostly, because I kind of can’t get my act together until Friday, and I manually send all of those. Well, not to every thousands of people on the list {laughs} but, I am writing all of those.

Liz Wolfe: You handwrite one thousand million letters.

Diane Sanfilippo: Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred emails.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: No, but I actually sit down and write those and put those together, so in case anyone was wondering. But yeah, those go out on Fridays. So if you didn’t get the SIBO guide, I’ll probably be sending the link for a few more weeks to make sure people are getting. And the next couple of months, what will happen to the email subscribers is that you will then be able to access content on the website that other people can’t access. So, you’ll be the special people. And, I think it will be a matter of probably logging in or clicking to log in with Facebook or something that will connect the email that is on the list and will identify you as someone who is on the list and you’ll be able to access that content in one place. But until that point, you can continue to get the lengthy email. So what I’ll probably do is, even if it’s not a main topic of the email, I’ll probably still add the link somewhere at the bottom. Like, hey if you missed it, here’s the link for the SIBO guide. So, if you join up on the emailing list, I’ll still be sending that out. If you’re having trouble with your digestion, you’re still not really sure what’s going on with it, if you’re like what is she talking about, SIBO? It’s small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and it’s a pretty hot topic in our community these days, which our community is pretty nerdy {laughs}. And, if you are just like, I don’t know what’s going on with my digestion, I’ve done all these things that I thought I should be doing, this guide will really help you. Because it’s possible that this is sort of the underlying root cause of your digestive troubles. So, if in fact there is a bacterial overgrowth in your small intestine, and we talk about digestion a lot and bacteria and gut bacteria, most of that gut bacteria when we talk about it, it should really be in your large intestine. That’s really where most of the stuff is happening. But sometimes it gets into the small intestine, for reasons that are discussed in the guide, and that causes a lot of problems, a lot of digestive upset, a lot of food intolerances, specifically if you have issues digesting FODMAPS, so I know a lot of our listeners are pretty keen to all that information. So if you’re having trouble digesting lots of different types of carbohydrates, then this could be the problem that you’re dealing with. Definitely check out that guide. I think already I’m getting really amazing feedback. It’s really helping tons of folks figure out kind of what this is all about, and it’s something that you can use in conjunction with a practitioner. Take it to your naturopath or your functional medicine practitioner, and kind of look at it with them and kind of get their help. I think one thing we need to remember when we’re working with naturopaths or any type of more holistically-minded medical profession is, they won’t have all the answers. Just the way an MD won’t have all the answers, but one of the big things I think is amazing about working with a naturopath or functional medicine practitioner is that they typically are just kind of in it with you. They’re going to go through what they’ve seen, and based on their experience. They may have had a lot of patients who are just like you, but a lot of times your situation is really unique, so I just wanted to remind everybody that they’re working on solving the mystery of your health challenge with you, and it’s ok to bring them this guide. If they’re going to have an ego about it, or if they’re weird about it, that’s kind of they’re prerogative, but I think most of them are pretty open minded and would be like, this is great, thanks for sharing it. Or, maybe it’s just great for you to educate yourself about it. Anyway, that’s that in a nutshell.

Diane Sanfilippo: The one other update I have for now is Mediterranean Paleo Cooking; I don’t know how many folks who are listening have heard me talk about it before, but it’s a book I’m working on with my really good friend, Caitlin Weeks, who is a fellow nutrition consultant. We are buds from back in San Francisco. Her husband is a professional chef, and he also happens to be from the Mediterranean. He is from Algeria, which is in North Africa. And we’ve been working on shooting the photos for their book, and it’s been amazing. I mean, the food is just, the recipes are really easy. Sometimes the process is a little bit different from food that I’m used to making, so it’s really interesting for me to see different recipes coming together and totally different flavor profiles. If I’ve got three to five spices that are my typical go-tos, those three to five that are really common amongst Mediterranean foods are totally different than what I’m used to doing. So it’s really been cool, it’s really been delicious, and it’s been a lot of fun for me because as much as I love teaching nutrition and helping everyone kind of understand more complex topics in simple easy to approach terms, being creative and artistic is probably what I’m the happiest doing. Being able to stage the photos and create them and work with color and plating and all of that; it may sound crazy to people who are like, but I love your books! How could that not be your favorite thing to do? Well, that’s really stressful and difficult and feels like a lot of pressure. You know how much goes into our books, Liz; you know now that Eat the Yolks is out.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s a huge relief once it’s out, but while you’re writing it, you’re just like, will this be ok for people? Will they understand it? Will it be good enough? All of that. Working on things that are a little more creative and artistic, that’s just. I don’t know, I could do that forever. That’s just really fun for me. It goes back to my roots. I remember in high school, biology and art class were my favorites, so there you go.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god. My favorite was recess and independent study.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} And library time.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I was going to say, and gym class. So like, nothing really changes, does it?

Liz Wolfe: No, it doesn’t. I’m really excited for that book. I love, love Mediterranean food so much.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s really yummy. I’m really excited about it.

Liz Wolfe: My goodness.

Diane Sanfilippo: So yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Can’t wait!

Diane Sanfilippo: And the moussaka was so delicious that I

Liz Wolfe: Moose caca?! {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Oh, man. I think I ate the entire tray of it over the course of like two or three days, amongst all the other things that we ate. I was like, no, you can’t eat this! Leave that for me. It was so good.

Liz Wolfe: I love moussaka.

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway.

Liz Wolfe: Uh! So good. Alright, so, want to talk about topics?

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s get into it.

3. “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthy [17:04]

Liz Wolfe: Talk about topics. Alright, so, I wanted to talk about a gluten-free food tasting that I just went to. It was an event that was just a real small event. We did a little bit of a walk around tour of downtown Independence, Missouri. And just visited some restaurants that working on putting some gluten-free options out for folks. We got to taste some of their food with a couple of other food bloggers and local activists in the gluten-free scene. And it was interesting, because I was the only one there that, to my knowledge, is a paleo person. And I was also one of the only ones that was not diagnosed celiac. So, I avoid gluten just kind of on principle, because I feel like generally gluten is in foods that are not whole foods from nature. It takes kind of a lot of work to get wheat from the stalk to a piece of bread, so just kind of on principle I avoid it. Every once in a while, I’ll have, I used to have a yearly bite or two of legit sourdough bread, which technically they say is gluten free, but anyway, I digress. So, this gluten free food tasting was kind of a tour-day restaurants on different ends of the cost spectrum who are trying to incorporate gluten-free options in their menus. So, we walked around and we were tasting this food at a couple of different places, and it was a great time. It was a really eye opening experience for me, and I was grateful to have been included and been asked to offer my feedback, but what I noticed was, maybe I kind of have some blinders on a little bit and I don’t really notice some of these issues that are happening in the gluten-free food, I don’t want to call it a trend, but really a lot of the problems in the gluten-free foods were as a result I think of it becoming kind of a booming industry and a lot of different companies are trying to take advantage of this new market. Because it is a profitable thing; gluten free is a lot, I mean, it’s exploded. So, here’s what I noticed, was that I was walking around with folks that are celiac, and yet what they were being served at a couple of places from incredibly well-intentioned restaurant owners and people who want to provide options for them but don’t really know, I think, how celiac disease works. Cross-reactivity between different types of foods, and this concept of just finding a replacement for a gluten-full processed food. So, you know, we sat down and had some pizza, which was great, but we weren’t provided with ingredients lists, which I thought was interesting. So, we’re sitting down, having some gluten-free pizza, and I asked one of our tour folks, one of the people who were taking us around, to provide me, just with an ingredients list, just because I was curious as to what was in this gluten-free pizza crust. Because you know, I’ve made gluten-free pizza crust myself, I believe Primal Power, Tara Grant, has an amazing recipe for Primal Dough, and it’s basically just based around I guess tapioca starch and some other stuff that she’s figured out how to combine and create a really delicious crust that’s completely free of gunk. And the unfortunate thing was, this gluten-free pizza crust was full of wonky ingredients and hydrogenated oil. So, coming from this standpoint of paleo, where I gave up all processed food first, you know, and just focused on meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar, I didn’t come from this place of, you know, I have this celiac diagnosis and now I have to find substitutes for the same things I was already eating. So I guess I wasn’t really aware of what I think may cause some really serious problems for people who have been diagnosed with celiac but maybe are not coming at it from the paleo angle or the primal angle or whatever. A whole foods/real food type angle. Because these ingredients were clearly, to me as a practitioner I could see that these ingredients are going to be problematic. So you’re diagnosed with celiac and you eliminate gluten, and you feel much better. You feel amazingly good compared to what you felt like before. But then, your rolling around, and you’re eating this pizza crust from Sysco or wherever, and really what these companies have done is just found a bunch of crappy alternative ingredients to replace wheat flour. And I think that’s unfortunate. This isn’t the gourmet gluten-free food section where you can check the ingredients label and see what’s really in there. It’s really kind of hidden. So I think that’s something to really be watchful of when we go out and we see, wow, they have gluten-free pizza! What’s in that gluten-free pizza, that crust, is still very likely to cause problems. One of my big soapboxes, you know, coming off of writing my book and figuring out if people aren’t buying into this paleo thing, the whole hog, then at the very least what would I tell them to do if they only did one thing? And my one thing is, check those labels and don’t eat transfats. Just get rid of them entirely if you can. And yet, these transfats are lurking in gluten-free pizza crust and gluten-free soups and things like that. I really appreciate the intentions of these folks that are putting gluten-free options out there, but unfortunately, that knowledge base just isn’t there where we’re saying, ok, well I don’t think soybean oil, hydrogenated oils, fractionated oils, modified corn, what have you, need to be in the bellies of celiac people. Or any people for that matter. So I’m kind of toying around a little bit with doing some gluten-free consulting for folks who are trying to get these things on their menus and doing good things for their people, the people that are coming in and eating at their restaurants, because I think anybody coming in and eating those foods could very potentially come off with a reaction and not really understand why, because hey, it’s gluten-free, right? This was just kind of a bummer that really, the processed food industry is overtaking this gluten-free food thing where places that want to have gluten-free options have options at several ends of the spectrum, probably the good stuff is a little bit more expensive, and so of course they’re going to go with the stuff from Sysco, because maybe they’re not all that well informed on what really should be in there and shouldn’t be. So, I think that’s something we really need to watch out for. It’s just really interesting to see coming from my perspective.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s really something good to hit on, because I know. There’s a lot of people probably listening and just out there who, they do this paleo thing but, you know, however so often, like you and I, they might say, I want to indulge and have a gluten-free pizza.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I did that, I don’t know ,several weeks ago now, and it was delicious, and I was like, wow this is really great, but I think if it’s something that you’re trying to include regularly, if you’re like, ok, once a week we do this. Or every two weeks, or however so often, you really do need to pay close attention to that if you are either celiac or if you’re struggling with something and you’re like, I don’t know what’s going on. You could be eating things that are just totally irritating your system. Or, you know, if you’ve been on a mission to really change the quality of your food, then that stuff isn’t helping. The hydrogenated oils; I’m with you on that. If somebody is doing one thing, it’s to change the fats that they’re eating.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: This stuff is really gnarly. Same thing with stuff like sweet potato French fries. I know, in our seminar, that’s kind of the thing where I burst people’s bubble on the sweet potato fries. It doesn’t mean I never eat them, it just means when people go paleo, they sometimes think well, and this is a little bit of an old school mindset. Like, people used to not eat white potatoes at all on paleo.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: But now you and I and lots of other folks who are kind of, I don’t know, just out there really talking publicly about a lot of this stuff, we’re not anti-white potato.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But, in the beginning, it was like, oh, well I can’t eat white potatoes so I’m going to eat sweet potatoes, and there are sweet potato fries here, and then it became people dining out on sweet potato fries multiple times a week. Right? Because they’re like, well those are paleo. And, that’s not really the point. You know what I mean?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: The whole point of this paleo thing is, sure, it’s grain-free, but it’s really that it’s junk free.

Liz Wolfe: Yes!

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s these seed and crop oils that we want to avoid, so that’s actually one of the things, as you were talking, I was like, you know what? That’s one of the reasons why, perhaps, if you put up a recipe for some kind of treat, and you call it paleo, but it’s really grain-free, or gluten-free, or whatever. That paleo label maybe does say more than just grain-free.

Liz Wolfe: Totally.

Diane Sanfilippo: It says junk-oil free. It says high fructose corn syrup free.

Liz Wolfe: Modified starch free.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And so, I just think that’s really interesting. You and I are obviously on the same page; gluten-free just doesn’t always mean healthy. And, I think if you’re someone who is doing this stuff for your health and it’s something that suddenly you’ve included this gluten-free thing regularly because it seems like an ok idea, I think it is important to check in on what those ingredients really are.

Liz Wolfe: It goes back to my anger with the processed food industry that I think is just all over Eat the Yolks.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Liz Wolfe: It’s like, you’ve hijacked this thing that could be a good thing for people and you’ve just dumped as many cheap, crappy ingredients in this pizza crust as you could possibly find, and then these good people who are trying to serve healthy food, or healthier food, or food that won’t hurt their patrons, it’s just not what it could be, what it should be. So, yeah. So did you see Dr. Oz’s …. What?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I was going to say, I think it was Jimmy Kimmel recently.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god! {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Did you see that?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, Amy sent it to me.

Diane Sanfilippo: It was like how Jay Leno used to take to the streets with the questions of like, do you know who is president, and pretty much nobody ever knew or who the first lady was, or any of that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: It was like, what is gluten? You saw this?

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, ok. People should definitely search for this video.

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to share it to the page.

Diane Sanfilippo: Basically, they asked, it might have been 4 or 5 different people, just kind of running in this park, people who seemed healthy or whatnot, do they follow a gluten-free diet? And, so totally leading into this, right? Do they follow a gluten-free diet. They said yes, obviously everybody on this clip. And then, what is gluten was a short follow-up, and nobody knew what it was. And it was hilarious.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, that’s funny. I mean, there’s a level at which nobody necessarily has to know gliadin and whatever.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Liz Wolfe: But at least, it’s a protein in wheat that can cause XYZ. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, I know. So, yeah, if somebody asks you what is gluten, and you’re like, shoot, is this being recorded for a late night stop on the street talk show clip? Yeah. A protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and yeah. So, I mean, obviously it’s a little more complex than that. Sometimes it’s referred to as a combination of two different proteins, but yeah. That’s kind of the short answer. But it’s just hilarious.

4. Dr. Oz and saturated fats [28:32]

Liz Wolfe: Uh. Too funny. Alright, so.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: So, I asked you off the air. Did you see Dr. Oz’s reversal on saturated fat? I actually haven’t seen it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw a clip of Dr. Peter Attia, who we think is awesome. At least, I think is awesome, I’m going to say you think he’s awesome.

Liz Wolfe: I think he’s awesome. {singing} Everything is awesome! Attia is awesome!

Diane Sanfilippo: But I… {laughs} Peter Attia, he was on Dr. Oz. I don’t know, I think it was last week or the week before talking about saturated fat. {laughs} I saw the clip and I wanted to poke Dr. Peter Attia in the side and be like, can you smile and look a little happier about this. But I get the same way. We talk about things that we take really seriously and that are really important, it’s hard to be smubbly. Smubbly? Oh my goodness.

Liz Wolfe: Wow.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t even talk today. Smiley and bubbly. {laughs} That’s like gruel.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just cold, which we’ll talk about next. But, anyway, so Peter Attia was on, and basically Dr. Oz said, you know, I just want to let people know that I think I’ve been wrong about this. Eating butter is ok, and eating full-fat dairy is ok. And things like that. You know, it’s important to recognize when that stuff is being stated on the show. And I think people forget when they get really angry at the TV show, and the way things are angled. I know people got a little upset about the episode Chris Kresser was on, they just didn’t like the way they angled the show. You guys are the 1% of people who really get it. And that doesn’t mean that other people are bad, or wrong, or don’t know important things about life. It’s just people don’t know what we are doing. We are in such a small little pocket still.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And getting this information out there, even if it just puts the word paleo in front of somebody and they go online and find out more. That’s really important, and a lot of what happens with these shows is really just sort of catering to what people who are watching will watch more of. So you have to remember that when it comes to TV. It’s a huge platform for advertising. So, of course Dr. Oz isn’t going to say, don’t eat grains. Kraft, and GM, General Mills, that is, and all these big food companies, Proctor and Gamble, they’re supporting the show. He’s on air because Big Food is paying for things. Obviously, they’re not the only ones. But a huge percentage of the advertisements on that show are coming from these companies. So, he can’t tell you not to eat their food. He has to do it in a way that is hopefully true to what he really believes as a person and have a little bit of integrity there, which I think he’s done to the best of what he can do within the confines of, this is a mass media television show. So, I just want everybody to remember that. Because one day, if I end up on that show and something gets spun a little bit differently or I end up talking about something that’s not 100% paleo, you guys have to remember we’re trying to help people, and helping people isn’t always a matter of “give them the picture of what perfect paleo is, and tell them to do it.”

Liz Wolfe: When I was on that show, Better Kansas City, which is a completely different thing from the Dr. Oz Show.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: But they guy was like, he was at least slightly clued in on real food. But kind of like the quinoa real food type. And at the very beginning, before we went on the air, which was just a crop storm of awkwardness, but we don’t have to talk about that, he had said something about, well I think it’s stupid not to eat the whole egg, even if it’s going to kill me. And it’s like, I had 2 minutes to address the entirety of what we were going to address. I could have addressed that little statement that he made for 25 minutes. And you just have to pick your battles. At one point in the interview, he said something about, I don’t’ even remember. But basically, you have such a short amount of time to make your point, you just have to prioritize what’s going to actually help people in the moment that aren’t familiar with all of the information, and go with it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Peter Attia’s segments, I think he had two segments, so that’s a really decent dedicated amount of time that he had versus some of the other clips that we probably see. I think you can check that out; I’ll see if we can get a link. Maybe Amanda can grab a link for us from the Dr. Oz website and just kind of link up to those videos in the show notes. But yeah, check it out, and check out Peter Attia. I think it’s Eating Academy.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m actually going to look it up right now. Eating Academy; I don’t know if it’s dot com. Let me just check really quickly; yeah, http://eatingacademy.com/ is Dr. Peter Attia’s website if you guys want to check that out. He has a really fantastic series on cholesterol, it’s called the straight dope on cholesterol. I learned a bunch from him at the ancestral health symposium a couple of years ago. Really good stuff. Lots of content on there. Check it out.

5. Mucus, mucus, everywhere [33:37]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. So, {laughs} hey everyone! Let’s play suck and blow!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} oh my gosh.

Liz Wolfe: So, you have a cold, clearly. And, just a warning to anyone with a weak stomach, we’re about to talk about mucus.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so skip ahead to the next time stamp if mucus is not a topic you want to hear about.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, we were talking about this really briefly because I am sure tons of people remember being a kid and just not wanting to blow their nose. My mom used to come after me with the aspirator; is that what it’s called?

Liz Wolfe: I have no idea.

Diane Sanfilippo: The thing that’s like, oh my gosh. Well, it’s really disgusting.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just a suction thing, like a ball that you squeeze, and the tip of the other end goes up your nose, and when you let go, it sucks and it sucks the mucus out. And I wouldn’t want to blow my nose, and my mom would want to come after me with this thing to pull the mucus out. Anyway, the last time I had, I think it was a sinus infection. This is the third time in the last 6 months that this has happened, and so I’m actually getting really angry about it, and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on, because I feel like, I used to get a sinus infection very frequently before I was paleo and everything was kind of different. I’m sort of blaming just having moved back to New Jersey and the different, perhaps, allergens in the air here or perhaps different level of dryness versus San Francisco, which, being a foggy place is actually not that dry. Because all the fog is kind of around, and the air just has a lot more moisture in it. And dryness in the air can definitely contribute to infections. Because when we dry out the mucosal lining of our sinuses, we’re definitely more prone to infection. Really, any mucosal lining getting dried out can leave us more prone to infections. So, the last time I was sick, it was right when you and I were recording the videos for the intro for the Balanced Bites online workshop, it was right before that, and I was Googling up a storm, because I was like, I just need to figure out more about what’s going on in here. So, a couple of things I discovered, which may be interesting to people. And anybody who has more information on this, please feel free to chime in with a comment on the blog post or however you want to let us know. But, one thing I read, I don’t know if it’s true or not, is that mucus production may not actually increase when you're sick, it’s just that the texture and consistency of the mucus changes and becomes thicker.

Liz Wolfe: {hurling}

Diane Sanfilippo: So it makes it harder to breathe because it’s then blocking up, obviously, your nasal passages.

Liz Wolfe: Eww.

Diane Sanfilippo: And the reason for that, which you were asking me, why is that happening, it’s just that the immune cells actually build up in the mucus. So then the next logical question was, should we be blowing that out or not? And you know, I’ve read things that say that blowing your nose is not beneficial, and actually sucking it back down, inhaling it back down, is not as bad as it may sound or as we think it is. I personally cannot imagine doing that at this stage in the game.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m sort of a snot factory right now, I’m blowing out so much snot {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god.

Diane Sanfilippo: So disgusting!

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} I have to go die now.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just, I can’t really, I can’t breathe. I’m just trying to clear some passages here for me to breathe; I can’t imagine what that would do to my lungs. Because I feel it when I, if there’s something rattling around under my sinuses or whatever just in terms of a thicker mucus, I can feel that if I blow it out it’s not hitting my lungs the same way as it would if I weren’t getting rid of it. So, I just think it’s a really interesting thing. So, if you’re listening and you’re like, it drives me crazy. Because I’ll tell you right now, my fiancée over here is not a huge nose blower. And when he’s had, very randomly…

Liz Wolfe: Is that a thing? {laughs} Online dating, are you a nose blower? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, should that have been on the deal breaker checklist? Like, are you a nose blower? If not, I think I’m going to have to move on.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But, you know, just standing around being like, I can’t stand the sound of someone sucking in their snot like that. It just seems gross and unhealthy, right? Like a lot of things might seem, but it may not be. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting. I did some research on that, and I have been enlisting the help of a 1970s humidifier, and I thought that was a little bit scary over the past few days, because the thing literally has no on or off switch, you just plug it in and it starts working, and it just has this one mechanism that goes into the water. What was really interesting after a couple of days, I found the humidifier was putting out so much water at a time, I think it would last maybe 4 hours before the whole tank was empty, and this is a total tangent but interesting, nonetheless, I think, and I took out the mechanism and it was rattling. Something was rattling in there, and I was like, what is going on? Why is this thing making this weird noise. As it was trying to put out the steam. So I took the mechanism over to the sink and I start shaking it, and minerals have condensed in the mechanism and now it’s coming out of it as I shake it, basically little pebbles. I just thought it was really interesting. Minerals from the water have condensed. Do you not find that interesting?

Liz Wolfe: I find it very interesting.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I basically shook this thing out, and it almost looked a little bit ashy, but it was grey and white. I just thought that was really interesting, and once I shook all of that out, the humidifier seemed to be working much more efficiently. So, also really interestingly. But I swear by my scary, perhaps dangerous, 1970s humidifier. Because I feel like the other’s just don’t quite work as well. So there’s that.

Liz Wolfe: They did so many things right in the ‘70s.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right?

Liz Wolfe: I’m sorry, actually I mean so many things wrong. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I just meant right, I know right?

Liz Wolfe: I know, right?

Diane Sanfilippo: So anyway, total tangent there. But just interesting, and I do have a YouTube video on what I do for cold care and pretty much doing all of that stuff. One thing I noticed; I don’t know, we get a lot of questions about people who have a cold, what should we do. I noticed that when I was drinking my kombucha, I felt like my histamine response was increased. This is super nerdy stuff, right?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m sipping this kombucha, thinking maybe this will help some probiotics, and my eyes started to water. My totally lazy left eye started to water. And I was like, wow, I think I’m getting a histamine response to the kombucha. I better stop drinking this kombucha. Interesting, right?

Liz Wolfe: {snorts}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, right?

Liz Wolfe: I know.

Diane Sanfilippo: So nerdy.

Liz Wolfe: It’s amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is what happens in my house. These are the conversations that we have.

Liz Wolfe: Well, we have a lot of conversations about goat poop, and dog poop. It’s just all feces over here, so I’m a little jealous of you.

Diane Sanfilippo: Have we eaten up like, 90% of the podcast already?

6. How can I get good nutrients in if I avoid superfoods? [40:56]

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, pretty much. Ok, questions.

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s get into some questions.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. What am I missing nutritionally if I just stick with the basics of paleo. Sarah says, “recently you mentioned the safe starter paleo foods and how they’re lacking in vital nutrients, which got me thinking. I don’t like a lot of the super foods, I can’t stand fish or organ meats. No avocado or olives. I do eat a lot of veggies and meat, chicken, pork, beef, and some turkey. I take fish oil due to the lack of any fish or seafood. What else am I missing? What foods could I eat that I’ll actually eat to add critical nutrients. Additional information; I was roughly 225 pounds at 5’8” after I had baby number 2 nearly 2 years ago. In the following months, with the help of my ND, I figured out that I don’t tolerate dairy or wheat well, so I cut both out. I slowly became more and more paleo, and have been so for a few months. I started Crossfit last summer at 195 pounds, and am now about 180. I feel fit, healthy, and strong, but just want to make sure I get everything I need. My breakfast is generally whey if I work out, or eggs and bacon if I didn’t. Lunch and dinner are meat and veggies. With two small kids, a job, school, and overall busy life, things need to be quick so I use my Crockpot a lot. I make roast, Crockpot chicken for chicken salad or to put on salad. I try to sleep 7-8 hours but it’s not always uninterrupted. I Crossfit 3-4 times a week, walk the dog every morning, and run on the weekends 5-7 miles.”

So I think; I don’t want to be a snob about super foods, but I will say that I personally don’t think that you can replace super foods, like what you would get from fish, with fish oil. I probably would actually say, even if somebody wasn’t eating a lot of fish, I would still probably say, if it were me, I wouldn’t take fish oil. I just think the jury is still out on that stuff. Really, it’s not been shown to be beneficial scientifically that I’ve seen conclusively, and I just don’t think that we know enough about it. Maybe if you can handle swallowing the cod liver oil/butter oil blend caps or something like that then maybe do that, but just, our biological requirement for what you get from fish oil is so very low that I probably would just not take fish oil capsules. And really, if this gal is doing; I think we had a question very similar to this fairly recently. I can’t remember what I said. But if she’s doing the Crockpot chicken, and eating like the fattier cuts and getting some of that good fat from pastured animals, it’s better than a stick in the eye. It seems like it’s alright. I can’t make super foods taste good, but maybe one day she’ll be ready. What do you think Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: If she is taking some kind of supplement, obviously the fermented cod liver oil is a better route to go than fish oil.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’ve had people asking about the liver pills, and that could be either in the form of you chop up liver and make little pill sized morsels out of it .

Liz Wolfe: Morsels.

Diane Sanfilippo: And then freeze it and then swallow those. I think if people are doing that, they need to chop up the liver, or process it in the food processor, pulse it really quickly first and then make it into pills. I don’t think whole chunks of protein should be swallowed like that. I think it should be broken down a little bit first.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or, what we’ve seen from Dr. Ron’s. I don’t know if those are great or not great, but the organ meat sort of, I don’t know if they’re desiccated organs, so they’re dried.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it’s desiccated.

Diane Sanfilippo: And made into pill form might be helpful, because at least it’s sort of a food-based supplement, if that kind of makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. They’ve got organ delight, which is a bunch of different organs all desiccated into little pills. Little swallowable pills.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I think it’s mostly going to be the fat soluble vitamins that we’re not getting from standard sort of meat and veg. So I think vitamin A; where is she getting vitamin A from. If she’s not eating any liver, or getting it from egg yolks, we’re getting bits of it here and there, but just stuff to kind of consider on that front. Just trying to see what else she’s talking about; avocado or olives are not super foods, so I wouldn’t really be worried about that. And not being able to stand fish or organ meats; I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but if we’re adults… organ meats I know are really hard because it’s going to take even longer because there is an element, they do have a special twinge, a special odor to them, especially liver. But I think we have to try them, I think we have to try them many many times, and in many different ways before we can officially say I can never eat that food. I just think there’s; I mean, how many people have we seen come around to eating liver, come around to eating sardines, whatever else it may be, listening to the show long enough and just trying it a lot of different ways. And so, I just really have an issue with fully grown adults recognizing the need for certain nutrients, and still making that educated decision to take the pill instead. I think it’s really important to find ways to like fish that has good omega-3 content. There are lots of different kinds; it doesn’t have to be sardines. If you like something different, or you can try something different very fresh wild caught salmon, for example, has a very mild flavor and its super easy to cook. It’s actually easier to cook fish than it is to cook any other type of protein. 10 minutes in a broiler and it’s done. There’s really nothing to it. Anyway, I will always challenge people, and I don’t care if it makes me unlikeable, but I just think we need to keep trying things a million different ways before we can say I won’t ever eat it.

Liz Wolfe: Or you can just keep on hammering the same thing the same way over and over until you get used to it like I did with sardines, and now I love them. {laughs} Started out holding my nose while I ate them, started out eating a whole thing of avocado on top of them. Just do it.

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s a lot of reasons why people don’t like certain foods, and I think it’s important to continue to challenge ourselves on that front. So, yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Cool. A lot of times we get these questions from people who are a little fat phobic, but it doesn’t seem like she is. Which, at least there’s a little bit of good nutrition there, especially if it’s pastured. But also, the other thing is, it seems like she’s pretty serious about working out. And if you’re doing whey protein, you need those cofactors to use that protein, which would be fat soluble vitamin A, K2. So definitely something to continue thinking about. Alright.

7. How to transition from a low-fat to a higher-fat diet? [48:02]

Liz Wolfe: How do you help your body transition to a higher fat diet if you’re having digestive issues? Jennifer says, “Hi Diane and Liz! I try to listen to your show whenever I get a chance, but I have a question about fat malabsorption. I’ve suffered for almost 20 years of digestive issues, got diagnosed with IBS. A few years ago, I got really tired of not knowing what’s really wrong. I started learning about paleo, and I’ve been trying to convert in the past year by increasing my healthy fats. Yes, I was one of those who for years was able to maintain by weight by eating a lower-fat diet. But in the last year, my digestive issues have gotten worse; more bloating and abdominal pain. As a result, I’ve been put through a bunch of tests; endoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scan, celiac testing, all of which came back fine. I also have a ton of other issues of which I do believe are related to subclinical hypothyroidism. I finally got an appointment with an Endo in August, who prescribed me the wrong medications, long story, but he did admit that I could benefit from some thyroid support. I really am not a fan of medications after being on so many over the years. In December, I had a hair tissue mineral test that showed some mineral imbalances, as well as adrenal and copper issues, so I’m working on those and hoping that by doing so, my thyroid will balance out on its own. My face has gotten puffier in the last few months, thyroid? But when I had a facial, she suggested liver and gallbladder issues. Then, I read about if you’ve been on a low-fat diet for years, this can cause gallbladder issues, and that made me wonder if I’m having issues digesting fats properly. I asked a doc about how do you know if you’re having fat malabsorption issues, and she said usually stools will look oily, or even the water in the toilet will look oily. I’ve noticed that in the water in the past, but never understood why. I’m wondering if this is part of my problem. How do you help your body transition to a higher fat diet if you’re having issues. Love you guys, thanks much.” This sounds like one for you, D!

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. So I will preface this by saying, this stuff is all covered in Practical Paleo in the digestion section of the book so I’m going to talk you through a little bit of it, but that’s going to be your handbook, handy guide reference point for all of this information. Really, there’s a couple of things here. One, you and I talk a lot about ox bile, Liz, and I think if you are making the transition to eating more fats, it maybe something where you want to just supplement a little bit with some bile salts, just to get that sort of support for the emulsification of the fats, which is what bile is doing. It’s taking an action, the way soap works on oil in a pan in a sink of water. Obviously the oil is not going to come off the pan unless you have something to emulsify it, something to break down those particles into smaller particles. And so, that’s what’s happening. Bile salts or bile acts the way soap does on oil on a pan on fats in the body, it helps to break them down. So, if you are experiencing trouble digesting fats, a couple of things here. One, you could scale back on how much fat your taking in versus how much you used to take in and go on a graded approach. So, instead of switching from a low-fat diet to a very high fat diet, just add in a little bit more here and there. I think the first and best place to start is for example you probably used to eat egg whites only, and so reinclude the yolks. Which actually also do include an emulsifier as well, some lecithin, and that will actually help to digest those fats as well. So, that’s kind of the first place I would start. I just wouldn’t overload your system with tons of added fat if you don’t need it. I wouldn’t eat the fattiest cuts of your grass-fed cow share or lamb share first right now if you're struggling with fat digestion. So, I would just add it gradually over time. Some other things that can really help with the fat digestion I think if you feel like you’re not getting enough stomach acid support because having proper stomach acid; again, this is all covered in Practical Paleo so I know sometimes when I talk through it, sometimes it’s like, wait, what did she say? Having proper stomach acid will help to signal to your gallbladder to release the bile so that you can get that bile in the mix and help to emulsify the fats, so if you’re not sending a bolus of food that you just chewed up through from your stomach to the beginning of your small intestine with enough stomach acid, it just may not signal your gallbladder well enough. I think this is a really big problem. I’ve seen this in some of my clients, I’ve seen it in a couple of members of my own family where acid reflux or indigestion most likely is a result of low stomach acid chronically over years and years then resulted in the loss of a gallbladder because it was creating a situation of sluggish gallbladder, and then the gallbladder had to be removed because stones built up. So, those are a couple of things there. You can do some supplementation, whether that’s stomach acid supplementation or supporting stomach acid naturally by getting into rest and digest mode, by chewing your food really well, by taking maybe perhaps a little bit of apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice in a shot of water maybe 10 or 15 minutes before a meal to help stimulate that stomach acid. Those are natural approaches. Not that the supplements aren’t natural, but if you’re just trying to thing, what can I do without the supplement, those are some approaches to take there. And, I’m happy that your doctor mentioned what you would see in the toilet as a result, but truthfully not digesting and absorbing fats is also going to lead to other vitamin, probably also mineral imbalances, so if you are seeing in that mineral test that you have imbalances, then getting this fat digestion in check is a really good first step so that everything you are eating is better absorbed, better digested and better absorbed. So I think those are kind of good places to start.

8. The difference between fish oil and cod liver oil, and what tests to get at the doctor [53:57]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. Alright, yearly physical. What to ask for. Lisa says, “What are the most important tests to ask for at my yearly physical in order to use as a baseline for my personal paleo diet and supplementation. My goal: Feel assured that I’m following the nutrition that is best for me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge; love and laughter to you both. Additional information; bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning with MCT oil, tablespoon of Carlson’s fish oil, exercise with weights and light cardio. Paleo lunch followed by vitamin D3, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, yoga class, paleo dinner before bed. Magnesium pills, and sometimes chamomile tea.” So she’s just looking for a baseline of what these tests are going to tell me and what I’m going to do after that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Are you asking me to answer this?

Liz Wolfe: Well, I mean, I have a couple of things.

Diane Sanfilippo: Why don’t you throw out what you’re going to recommend. I also, a lot of people are taking Carlson’s fish oil.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, because…

Diane Sanfilippo: What can we tell people about that?

Liz Wolfe: Stop it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. Well, sometimes people confuse fish oil from Carlson’s with cod liver oil, and it’s a whole thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: People should refer to your post on cod liver oil.

Diane Sanfilippo: People confuse cod liver oil with fermented cod liver oil.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Here’s a little hint; if it tastes too good, it’s probably not the right fish oil.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} The right cod liver oil.

Liz Wolfe: I get why people are doing it, but I’m just saying, I’m telling you this fish oil thing, it’s either going to explode in our faces 10 years from now the same way getting rid of saturated fat has done.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Liz Wolfe: I just am not into it.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I even think, you know we recommend fermented cod liver oil, I think it’s a good recommendation as opposed to something else; it’s still not, everyone has to take this, everyone should take this. People ask all the time, what if I don’t want to take that. Then, eat liver and eat fish, and eat good amounts of vitamin A rich grass-fed butter or dairy. I know the butter oil is a much more concentrated source, but truthfully, this is stuff that we can try and get from food, and that’s the point of it.

Liz Wolfe: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s why we’re ok with recommending the cod liver oil, the fermented cod liver oil, and especially the butter oil blend I know that you like, because it’s not actually as concentrated and as isolated as a fish oil, or even a regular cod liver oil. So, it is more well rounded in nutrient complements as a food source. But I’m just not that into most supplements all the time. I think anything you take all the time you should really question it.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, anyway. Let’s talk about tests for her to get at the doctor.

Liz Wolfe: You know what, let me just insert really quick a plug for what I talk about in my book with regards to fish oil in Eat the Yolks. I talk about, first of all, the history of the fish oil industry, the way they produce fish oil, and Diane you’ve talked about how before you’ve interacted with a fish oil company that made a lot of claims about their product, but wouldn’t tell you how they made it. And the way they make it is probably just as intense in processing; I mean, fish oil is really as highly processed as soybean oil or canola oil or anything else. The process that it has to go through. And also, the evidence that we use to support the taking of fish oil is actually a really old study on, I believe the Inuit, who were eating lots of fish and had certain biomarkers of health that were better than most of the world. So we weren’t actually looking at a population that took fish oil, we were looking at a population that ate fish. So, just the whole thing really needs to be reconsidered, and if you’re curious about it, buy my book.

Diane Sanfilippo: A bit of a tangent there, but it’s really important, you know, when we talk about fats to chose to eat and to cook with and all of that good stuff. When people say, but canola oil has such a high smoke point. I’m like, I’m not even concerned with the smoke point, because I’m looking first at how it’s made, and should I even consider it food in the first place.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And that’s really the issue here with the fish oil, it’s like, first, how is it made? Where did that come from, and how did we derive this clean, pure oil from this fish? How did that happen. And I don’t think enough people are asking that question.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think that’s a really important question to ask. That’s what reveals the fact that this highly oxidizable polyunsaturated fatty acid, the PUFA, which is what omega-3 is. It’s highly susceptible to damage, through processing, through exposure to air, all of that. So I just think it’s really important that people question all that. So, ok.

Liz Wolfe: Agreed. Ok, so the one thing I was going to say. You usually do the cholesterol testing spill in the Balanced Bites workshops that we do, but one thing I’m kind of interested in is actually testing magnesium. But, what kind of stinks is the serum magnesium testing is not all of that reliable, I don’t think. I do think that there’s another test that you can take.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think there’s a red blood cell magnesium test.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Red blood cell magnesium. There might be a sublingual one of some kind as well, and I’m sorry that I can’t remember and I’m just not sure where I put this information. But, I think that might actually be a really good one to know what your magnesium levels are. A lot of nutrient testing, I’m not huge on, because I think we’ve talked about before, a lot of this testing gives you a snapshot of one moment in time. And if you’re like me, and you go to the doctor’s office, and your brain starts to implode, and you get stressed, and you feel a little crazy, and whatever, it may not be an accurate snapshot. So I’m just not sure how to answer this question.

Diane Sanfilippo: One important thing to pay attention to is that it kind of depends on what’s going on with you. I think a lot of the markers that we’re getting back from the doctor are just not that important. They’re not telling us whether or not we’re healthy. I think that what’s important to look at, if we are just getting kind of a standard panel back, I think it’s important to know what your fasting glucose is. I think it’s important to know what your triglycerides are. I think that number is really important, more so than your cholesterol, total or HDL, LDL. Though those can be interesting, they definitely will fluctuate a good amount. If you are diabetic, then your A1c number is always important to be looking at. That’s your blood sugar management over time. If you’re not diabetic, that number may not be that important or valid to know. I definitely, at this stage, I think triglycerides are a really important marker of whether or not you are processing and metabolizing the carbohydrates that you’re eating, and whether or not the amount of carbohydrates that you’re eating is right for you. I think that’s partially based, as I’ve said for a long time now, based on your activity levels, but it’s also based on how your body is handling those foods. To the previous question, if you have some mineral imbalances, and you’re unable to process carbohydrates very efficiently, then that may be the point at which you don’t tolerate that much in terms of carbohydrate and you need to pull back on it. So, that’s just one thing that triglycerides will tell you. And I think those are a really good number to look at for the people who say they are healthy eating their junky food. If you look at their triglycerides, I would bet you 9 times out of 10, at least, that number is telling the truth. And I’ve used this example before where I had a co-worker who looked healthy. She had average normal body weight, she was fairly thin, she seemed pretty healthy, but just really didn’t eat high quality food, and has triglycerides, or did, this was years ago now, over 200. And that was the truth teller right there. There is no way to hide from that number. So, there’s something going on metabolically there inside, even if the fat isn’t landing on your hips, or your bum, or your stomach, or wherever. But so, I think triglycerides are important.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it really just depends on what you want to know about your health. If you want to see what your magnesium levels are, I think that’s important. I think some other testing that isn’t typically done by your yearly physical. Like, check out what’s going on with your cortisol levels. Check out what’s going on with just your hormone balance. And those are things that I don’t think are standard in most physicals. Even that red blood cell magnesium; your doctor is going to look at you like you have two heads, if you ask for that.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s what’s really going to happen. So, I think the bigger answer to this question is what are you trying to learn. What are you trying to find out? Because, are you just trying to find out, are you healthy? Basing it off of qualitative information rather than quantitative, I think is much more effective. If you aren’t feeling good, getting thyroid tests done, and that’s more than just a standard test they would do. Which I think they typically test your TSH and maybe T3 or T4, and you want to get them to test more than that. You want them to test reverse T3, you want them to test thyroid antibodies. All these different things. So, it’s a little bit complex, and unfortunately I don’t think there’s one set of information that everyone should be asking for. I think it really depends. She hasn’t said, here’s what I’m feeling is wrong with me.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So what should I test? It’s really more of a baseline. And, I don’t know, do you get a yearly physical and get testing done?

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: No. I don’t.

Liz Wolfe: I actually don’t do testing at all. Unless there’s something I feel is going on. But that goes back to just having been raised outside of the medical paradigm. It’s just not that big of a deal for me to be not worried about it. But that’s just where I come from.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I don’t, I think I told people I had blood work done over the summer while I was working on Practical Paleo, because I felt like I was going to die, and there was nothing wrong with me.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Nothing, you know, “nothing” wrong with me. It was stress.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And so, there’s nothing that that blood work is going to tell you that is quantitative. I think the quantitative information is more valuable. If you have a real clinical issue that you’re just trying to get to the root of, and you're making changes and you want to see how that is affecting what’s going on in your body, if that makes sense. So if you think you’ve got an issue with your thyroid, you’re making dietary and lifestyle changes, maybe you’ve been given thyroid hormone because your thyroid isn’t making it, and then you retest, like I think that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I actually think that for folks who have thyroid issues, I think testing as regularly as you can afford is important.

Liz Wolfe: Yes, I agree.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I think that the amount of that thyroid hormone that you're taking needs to vary pretty frequently.

Liz Wolfe: If you have something, or you're befuddled by something, then absolutely I think testing is appropriate. But I’m not into, I guess that wouldn’t even be preventative testing. But I’m not in for, let’s just poke around just to see type of testing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I don’t find it to be informative or valid for me.

Liz Wolfe: I’ve never seen it. I mean, I’ve looked at a lot of people’s blood work, and just over a couple of years of having a practice, I just haven’t seen it be all of that correlative with the stuff people I’m working with are dealing with.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or, that much more illuminating than simply talking to them. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Exactly. Exactly. Digestive symptoms and stress levels have been the most telling things that I’ve seen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: But that’s just me. Alright, so we’re definitely over an hour here. We’ll be back next week with more questions. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please remember to subscribe to it. Subscribe, subscribe, subscribe, and help us spread the word by leaving a review in iTunes. Those are so much appreciated. As always, you can find Diane at http://blog.balancedbites.com/, and you can find me, Liz, at realfoodliz.com. Be sure to join our email lists, where we provide exclusive content to our subscribers that we don’t put anywhere else. Follow us on Instagram to see what we’re eating and what my goats are doing. Thanks for listening.

Diane & Liz


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