The Human Operating Manual

The “Natural” Diet

The "Natural" Diet


What’s the Best Diet?
Basic Rules
Increasing Complexity
  • Ancestral Eating
  • Metabolic Flexibility and Periodized Eating Patterns
  • What Not to Eat
  • Foods to Limit
  • Principles of Food Combining
  • Maximizing Nutrient Density for Health and Longevity
Hypersensitivity & Toxins
  • Causes of food-related hypersensitivity
  • Histamines and Oxalates
  • Toxins that may have adverse effects
  • Foods High in Heavy Metals
  • Mycotoxins
  • Xenoestrogens
  • Antinutrients
    • Lectins, phytates, cyanogenic glycosides, oxalates, saponins, glycoalkaloids, prolamins, gluten, goitrogens, phytoestrogens, enzyme inhibitors
  • To reduce antinutrients it is recommended that you combine several methods
Food Preparation Methods
  • Benefits and Drawbacks of Cooking
  • Marinades
  • Preserving
  • Ensuring the Sufficient Intake of Nutrients
Reviewing Nutrients
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Spices
  • Animal Products
  • Fish
  • Crustaceans and Mollusks
  • Eggs
  • Milk Products
  • Cereals
  • Rice 
  • Maize
  • Root Vegetables and Tubers
  • Vegetables, fruits, and berries
  • Fats and Oils
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Fungi
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcohol
    • Hangover Cure
Regulating Blood Sugar
  • Hormones Involved in Blood Sugar Regulation
    • Insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, cortisol, adrenaline, thyroxine, ACTH, amylin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), Gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP), growth hormone 
  • Glycolysis
  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Glycemic Index and Load
  • Foods and Spices that Help Balance Blood Sugar
  • Supplements that Help Balance Blood Sugar
  • Metformin
  • Berberine
  • Coffee
  • Sleep
  • The Order You Eat Foods Matters: Managing Your Blood Glucose & Glucagon
  • Movement, Exercise & GLUT-4
  • Keeping Blood Sugar Stable with Specific Exercises, The Power of Insulin Sensitivity
Foods That Promote mTOR and Autophagy
  • High mTOR (HiTOR) Foods
  • Moderate mTOR (ModTOR) Foods
  • Low mTOR (LowTOR) Foods
  • mTOR Neutral (nTOR) Foods
  • Low Autophagy (LowATG) Foods
  • High Autophagy (HiATG) Foods
Neurotransmitters & Brain Food
  • Amino Acids as Neurotransmitters
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Acetylcholine
  • GABA
How to Eat Yourself Smart
  • Pursue Ketosis
  • Fast
  • Feed Your Gut Bacteria
  • Focus on Supportive Nutrients and Substances
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), alpha lipoic acid (ALA), Water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri), CDP-choline (citicoline), DHA (omega-3 fatty acid), phosphatidylserine, carnosine, caffeine, choline, Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba), creatine monohydrate, tyrosine, gotu kola, theanine, lion’s mane, oxaloacetate
Longevity Supplements
  • Plant Compounds and Medicinal Mushrooms for Longevity
  • Additional Longevity Supplements to Consider
  • Supplements for Mitochondrial Support
Anabolic Supplements
  • Synthetic Medication Linked to Longevity
  • Muscle Building Supplements
  • The Extra Edge
  • When to Take Supplements
Digestive System 101
  • The 10 Most Common Gut Issues and How to Fix Them
How to Optimize Your Nutrition to You
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Carnivore Diet
  • Plant Based Diet
  • Weston A. Price Diet
  • Boundless Diet
  • There’s No One Size-Fits-All Diet
  • How to Customize Your Diet
Recovery Diets
  • Beginner
    • Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP), Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet, Swiss Detox Diet/Colorado Cleanse, The Elemental Diet
  • Intermediate
    • The Wahl’s Protocol (Low-Carb Version), The Plant Paradox Diet, The Mediterranean Diet (Low-Carb Version)
  • Advanced
    • The Paleo Diet, The Western A. Price Diet, The Ancestral Diet, The Ultimate Biohacked Diet

What’s the Best Diet?

Much to the chagrin of nutritional book sellers and celebrity doctors everywhere, there is no one “natural” diet that all humans can go on, that will fulfill all of their physiological needs.

Here Are a Few Reasons Why:

  • Some people can have reactions to oxalates, gluten, gliadin, etc.
  • Some don’t benefit from supplementing with vitamins C, A, or riboflavin, and some can cause harm to themselves by supplementing vitamin D or vitamin E.
  • Some people even react to too much sulfur (e.g., joint pain, IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, IBS, and neurotransmitter imbalances).
  • Speaking of neurotransmitter imbalances, we also have different nutritional requirements for the amino acids that make up said neurotransmitters.
  • Furthermore, some people have a genetic susceptibility for poor methylation, which results in the body not stopping the production of glutathione, which is usually triggered when the body detects there is enough and stops via methylation.

The list goes on. 

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that we all have unique requirements for specific nutrients and may react adversely to foods that other people consume regularly.

This is all due to the complex interactions occurring within our body, as a result of the following:

  • Our genetics: Foods that our ancestors evolutionarily adapted to eat, based on seasonal changes, access to certain foods, preparation methods, etc. Mutations in specific genes, which may affect production of certain enzymes, can also be passed on, regardless of no obvious evolutionary benefit being present.
  • Our microbiome: We all have different populations of synergistic, mutual, and parasitic microbes that are affected by antibiotics, our mother’s microbiome and holobiome exposure during childbirth and breastfeeding, prebiotic and probiotic foods in our diet, and other nutrients that may influence the overgrowth of certain microbe species. 
  • Physical activity: Influencing our requirements and cravings for different quantities of macronutrients, micronutrients, and electrolytes, based on the level and type of physical exertion. 
  • Lifestyle: The lifestyle you lead and your perceived level of stress will influence the types of food that your body craves. 
  • Gut lining absorption: This may be leaky or damaged due to lifestyle and dietary effects. Preventing the absorption of certain nutrients and allowing proteins and lipopolysaccharides into the bloodstream.  

I’ll be honest, from first glance this doesn’t make making the right dietary choices look any easier. However, it is possible to figure out the gist of your own personal nutritional requirements without getting a genetic test or by blindly believing some author with an unrelated doctorate*.

By using this guide, you should be able to quickly identify the foods that cause you trouble, and to find the foods that you may be lacking in your diet. However, it is up to you how complicated you want to make your dietary choices. Always remember that by neurotically stressing out about the little things, you are more than likely causing yourself more harm than good by restricting your choices and amplifying the possible damage an inflammatory food may have, as a consequence of the mind increasing its threat response. 

***I’m sure most people realize this, but having Dr. in your title doesn’t make you any more qualified to give nutritional advice, unless your PhD was about a topic specific to what you are currently writing about. It does not mean that they have the qualifications of a doctor. Which, funnily enough, automatically suggests to some people that they are in fact a doctor who is fighting the medical institute from the inside. Implying that they are an underdog who is sacrificing their medical livelihood for the sake of educating the average person about the evils of big pharma and the medical industry. This statement is extremely generalized, and I’ll admit that there are sincere actors out there with actual applicable qualifications who don’t have dollar signs in their eyes, but I feel that this must be mentioned as there are a lot of overly confident individuals selling products that claim to be a cure all to every ailment under the sign. And yes, I see the irony of mentioning this, since I am in fact trying to compile information from some of these people, with the intentions of building a system that lowers dependency on the medical and pharmaceutical industry. Something that I will address in more detail on the Medical & Pharamceutical Industries page. Not to mention the hypocrisy that as I am write this, my highest qualifications are a personal training certificate, a Neuroscience BSc, and a PgDip in Science communication.***   

Basic Rules (Hunter Gatherer’s Notes)

  1. Shop the edges of the supermarket. Better yet, buy your food at a farmers’ market. Nearly everything from the middle of the supermarket has more sugar, more salt, more umami—generally by means that are not vetted, at least not in the long term. Highly refined foods are another example of hyper-novelty, as is plastic, so try to avoid food packaged in plastic, and especially avoid allowing hot plastic to touch your food.
  2. Avoid GMOs. GMOs are neither inherently dangerous nor inherently safe. They are, however, different from the artificial selection that farmers have been engaging in for thousands of years. When farmers choose plants or animals to breed, promoting some traits and down-regulating others, they are playing within the landscape that selection has already been acting on. In contrast, when scientists insert genes or other genetic material into organisms that have no recent history with those genes, they are creating an entirely new playing field. Sometimes they will be lucky, and the result will be useful and kind to humans. Sometimes they will not be lucky. Chimerical life-forms that have been created by humans using hyper-novel techniques are not inherently safe; anyone telling you otherwise is either mistaken or lying to you.
  3. Respect your food aversions and cravings, especially after exercise, after illness, or while pregnant (so long as these cravings reflect real food and don’t pose specific risks).
  4. Expose children to a diverse range of whole foods, especially ones that connect them to your culinary and ethnic background. Eat the same food that you put in front of them, and show obvious enjoyment of it. Keep seasonal produce on your counter, and let the children eat any fruit that they find there, encouraging them to develop their own preferences while they also learn how and when to explore a variety of whole foods.
  5. Consider your ethnicity and look to its culinary tradition for a guide to diet. If you are Italian, look to Italian cuisine for clues as to how you should eat. If you are Japanese, look to Japanese cuisine. In particular, look to the culinary traditions of home cooking, as the foods represented in restaurants, while often delicious, often represent only a sliver of a culinary tradition’s full panoply of options.
  6. Do not reduce food to its component parts—such as carbs and fiber, fish oil and folic acid. Instead, think of food as the species from which it came, the cultures that first used it, the myriad ways it is now prepared and eaten across the world.
  7. Make food less ubiquitous in your own world. For most of history, human societies have tempered against boom and bust with ritual feast and long periods of frugality. But recently, agriculture has led to an increase in the capacity to hold food in reserve, to save for a rainy day—or, more likely, to save for an extended drought, or a harvest failure. While our modern brains want to consume as much as possible, our ancient bodies want to store up for later. When calories were scarce and their availability unpredictable, this metabolic tendency made good sense. When a hunter-gatherer finds honey that he can separate from its bees, he and his friends will likely gorge on it, for there is no knowing when the next burst of sugary goodness will come their way again. But since food resources are no longer scarce, gorging is not an effective strategy. We have to willfully override our evolutionary impulses in order not to suffer the hyper-novelty that the twenty-four-hour grocery store provides. Putting yourself on a schedule, as intermittent fasting recommends, of not eating for regular periods of time seems to be a healthful corrective.
  8. Do not forget that food is social lubrication for humans. Eating alone in your car after visiting the drive-through is a novel situation, and it’s not helping us connect with our food, our bodies and their needs, or one another.

Increasing Complexity

Ancestral eating

Based on genetics, latitude, and seasonal selection (each will be specific to biochemistry and genetics of ancestors and the source of the food).

  • A predominantly Northern European ancestry may eat plenty of fermented foods, meats, fish, berries, and raw dairy, without large intakes of citrus fruits or other foods not likely encountered. Scandinavian ancestors would have access to fish rich in omega-3s and vitamin D.
  • MTHFR mutations that create a poor ability to methylate tend to cluster in regions and populations where a group’s diet was rich in folate. Mexicans, Hispanics, Italians, and Chinese were more likely than others to carry MTHFR mutations that increased a need for dietary folate (leafy greens, organ meats, and pastured egg yolks).
  • The AMY1 gene, which codes for salivary amylase production and helps break down starch and carbohydrates, helps to produce more amylase in those that tended to have a higher starch diet. Meaning you may be able to handle a slightly higher amounts of carbohydrates. Japanese, continental Europeans, or populations that are high-starch foragers, such as the Hadza tribe in Tanzania, have been shown to possess more AMY1 copies than populations that consume less starch (sweet potato, yam, plantain, other roots and tubers, fruit, and rice), such as those areas of Turkey and the Congo.
  • The lactase persistence gene enables an adult to digest lactose, without getting gut distress and diarrhea. Cultures that have not traditionally raised livestock, including those of Asia, Africa, and most of India, rarely carry the lactase persistent gene. If you are from European descent, you are probably lactose tolerant.
  • Examples of meal ingredients: Crustaceans, insects, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fish, shellfish, some raw dairy (goat and A2), occasional red meat and poultry (wild game preferably), organ meats, eggs (chicken, duck, quail) marrow, broth, fermented foods (histamine dependent), grains that have been prepared to reduce harm from antinutrients by breaking down them down. Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium), seasonal fruits (specific to your genetics/ancestral history), coconut.

Metabolic Flexibility and Periodized Eating Patterns

Change up your eating pattern to suit the seasons. Match your body’s sensory expectation with your diet. The following is from a Dr. Darya Rose interview with Dr. Rhonda Patrick:

Winter: Intermittent fast, more animal products (nose-to-tail), complex carbs (depending on ancestry), and fermented foods

  • Root vegetables, bitter and hardy greens (kales, cabbages, beats, turnips)

Spring: Lettuces, chives, asparagus, & light, crisp, delicate greens

Summer: The period for resource hunting. More fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables. Calories are more freely available.

  • Cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, berries, tomatoes

Autumn: Winter squash, hot peppers

Feed your gut bacteria by eating fermented, fibrous, and starchy foods. Avoid high sugar content and chronic stress. 

Always try a wide variety of foods to avoid tolerance/intolerance and to avoid nutritional deficiencies. 

The food you eat gives your brain clues about what the external environment is like. By feeding it packaged foods filled with excessive sugar, salt, and fat, or by consistently depriving it of calories, you are sending it signals that it will respond to in kind.   

What Not to Eat

By focusing on only the highest quality foods and then fasting at other times you’ll greatly improve your health as well as mental well-being:

  • Refined Carbohydrates – These foods are processed in a way that lowers their nutrient density but increases their glycemic load and inflammation. Processed carbs like bread, candy, pastries, cakes etc. can promote serious health issues.
  • Sugar – Clearly, table sugar is quite bad. Unfortunately, it’s added to almost every packaged food imaginable. Even “healthy meal replacements” or “low carb bars” may have hidden sugars.
  • Trans Fats and Vegetable Oils – Highly inflammatory and oxidized fats high in omega-6s and other chemicals. It’s regrettable they were considered to be healthy at one point whereas they’re actually the complete opposite.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – Despite their non-caloric content, they still raise insulin and promote diabetes. There are even some studies on how they cause brain cancer and tumorigenesis in rats. By all means, avoid aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, Acesulphame-K, and everything else you can’t recognize. Certain sweeteners like xylitol and stevia are okay in small amounts. Sugar alcohols like erythritol are also fine if you limit them to 1-2 times a week. However, sweeteners may disrupt the microbiome and create bacterial overgrowth. They can also make you crave more sweetness.
  • Excessive Consumption of Grains and Legumes – They can cause gastrointestinal stress and gut issues in most people. If not the gluten from wheat, then the other phytates and anti-nutrients in beans can promote leaky gut syndrome, headaches, brain fog, autoimmune disorders, and even block the absorption of other minerals. These foods aren’t even that nutrient dense compared to something like steak or even healthy starches like potatoes. It’s not worth it to be eating grains and legumes because (1) they’re not that healthy, (2) they cause issues down the line, (3) they don’t even taste good, (4) it’s a hassle to make them more easily digestible. Avoid wheat, barley, rye, bread, pastries, cookies, cakes, beans, peanuts, lentils 90% of the time. Introduce them only a few times a year as hormetic conditioning. If you are determined to continue eating them, make sure you soak, sprout, and cook them accordingly.
  • GMO Foods and Pesticides – They are not only poor in nutrients but also cause digestive problems. Commercial fruit and vegetables at the supermarket are laden with invisible chemicals that you don’t see. Even washing them thoroughly won’t help because the pesticides have penetrated into the plant. Unless you’re buying organic, avoid the Dirty Dozen and stick to the Clean 15 list of veggies. Then again, you don’t need to be eating ’the entire color of the rainbow’ either and can safely stick to high-quality animal foods.
  • Emulsifiers – Highly processed foods have emulsifiers for extended shelf life. Its goal in detergent is to bring fatty molecules with water molecules to dissociate them. Soy lecithin and other names. When you ingest them, it strips the mucosal lining of the gut and cause the neurons to retract deeper into the gut and CCK signals are never triggered. You can’t measure the amino acids and fatty acids properly. Neurons in your gut, which don’t get affected, sense sugar too, which send a signal via the vagus nerve which triggers the desire to eat more.

  • Commercial Dairy – Ideally, you’d want to avoid all dairy because of several reasons. It can cause inflammation and allergic reactions in most people. Compared to other sources of protein like meat or fish, it’s not that good for building muscle either and it’s too anabolic for the effect you’re getting. Fermented cheese, raw milk, kefir, and cottage cheese are okay in some amounts.
  • Alcohol – Although a glass or two of red wine or a few heavy spirits can have a beneficial hormetic effect, you’d want to limit your alcohol consumption 95% of the time. Definitely avoid the high carb and sugary alcohols like ciders, beer, long drinks, cocktails, margaritas, pina coladas and everything else that’s super rich in calories. Those drinks are basically the equivalent of processed fruit juices with high fructose corn syrup and ethanol.

Foods to Limit

  • Histamine and oxalate containing foods
  • Glucose fluctuating foods
  • Condiments
  • Gluten containing foods
  • Foods high in heavy metals
  • Meals that are high-fat and high-carb
  • Smart drugs

Principles of Food Combining:

  • Don’t Combine Fats and Carbs: It will hijack your sensory satiety and is also dangerous to your health. Eating calorie-dense foods with high insulin makes it easier to store the food as fat and induce insulin resistance.
  • Combining Starch and Meat: Starchy foods like potatoes and rice require different enzymes and acidity than meat. Combining them together may cause some conflict of interest in the gut. The body will prioritize one or the other but, in both cases, the other food that’s left out can begin to ferment in the gut if it stays there for too long. Starch and protein also spike insulin much higher. If you’re eating once a day it might not be that big of an issue as there isn’t much food in the stomach already. However, for optimal results, you want to eat meat with vegetables and starch with something easier to digest like fish or other plant-based proteins.
  • Don’t Combine Fruit with Anything: The simple sugars of fruit don’t require much digestion and they get stored as liver glycogen. If you do eat fruit, then you should do it on an empty stomach with empty glycogen. Eating fruit after a meal makes it easier to store it as fat and become fermented in the gut. Forever alone fructose…
  • Don’t Drink Your Calories: If you’re drinking juices, shakes, meal replacements etc. then you’re not really feeling that satiated afterwards. It’s better to limit liquid calories because it’ll bump up your daily calories while limiting satiety. The only exception might be like a green juice powder or some protein shake every once in a while.
  • Get Enough Fat-Soluble Vitamins and Protein: In order to feel satiated with fewer calories, you should focus on whole foods with fat-soluble vitamins and essential amino acids. This prevents cravings and binging. The best foods for that are meat, fish, eggs, and organ meats.
  • Promote Acidity When Eating Protein: To digest proteins and meats, you want to have higher acidity in the gut. This will help to break down the food and promotes digestion. That’s why combining meat with starch can also cause further issues – one promotes alkalinity and the other wants acidity. To promote hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the gut, drink a little bit of apple cider vinegar before eating, add it to your food, or take some digestive enzymes.
  • Don’t Drink While Eating: Drinking a lot of water before, during, or immediately after the meal can dilute stomach acid and hinder digestion. This can cause undigested food particles to float around for longer and promote inflammation. It’ll definitely make you more bloated and constipated. You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating before having something to drink.
  • Limit ‘Healthy Desserts’: Even though some foods can be ’low carb’ or ’healthy’, you’d still want to avoid snacks and desserts as often as possible. The problem has to do with sensory-specific satiety. If you eat a bunch of steaks and then have a keto nutbar, you may end up over-eating on the bar because of the new taste it provides, especially if it has some artificial sweeteners or the like. They should be a treat every once in a while, but not the norm.
  • Be Mindful of What You Eat: Most importantly, don’t eat mindlessly and sporadically. If you do eat, then sit down and actually enjoy it. Feel all the flavors and sensory stimuli take you over and be present. This will make you more grateful for what you eat. Eating more slowly will also enable the satiety signals to reach your brain faster without eating unnecessary calories.

Maximizing Nutrient Density for Health and Longevity:

  • Maximize Nutrient Density: You should aim for eating foods with the highest nutrient density that will give you a bunch of essential vitamins and minerals without having to eat too much. The best foods for that are organ meats, whole eggs, fish, vegetables, herbs, and spices.
  • Avoid Empty Calories: There’s no point in eating foods that don’t give you a lot of nutritional value but come with a hefty caloric load.
  • Obviously, processed food, even the “healthy kind” has a much lower nutrient density than whole foods: The idea is to also keep your overall daily caloric intake relatively moderate as to not tax digestion, mitochondrial functioning, or accelerate aging. Instead, you would want to always stay around your maintenance calories even when trying to gain muscle and strategically cycle your caloric intake.
  • Eat Plenty of Protein: High-quality protein should be central to every meal because of its satiety factor and benefit on lean muscle. On this program that includes resistance training and intermittent fasting, you don’t have to worry about overstimulating mTOR with protein because you’re already in an effective metabolic autophagy state. The daily protein requirements are typically quite low and not optimal for muscle or even longevity for that matter. A higher protein diet tends to be better for body composition and predictably on metabolic health as well. In reality, it’s only high relative to the extremely low RDA of protein. When doing the more advanced type of intermittent fasting, then you’d need to be consuming slightly more protein as well to trigger more anabolism within a smaller time frame. In general, you would want to aim for 0.7-1.0 g/lb of lean body mass. There’s no additional benefit for muscle growth for going beyond that. Sometimes you may find yourself going up to 1.2 g/lb whereas at others you’ll be at 0.6 g/lb, depending on which stage of the anabolic cycle you’re in.
  • Balance Your Healthy Fats: Animals who eat their natural diet have a 1:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. The optimal ratio for humans is also around 1:1 or 1:2. If you’re experiencing high levels of stress, inflammation, or sickness, then you may benefit from increasing your omega-3 intake a little bit. You can even do well on a 2:1 ratio favoring omega-6s, but anything beyond that will make your body more pro-inflammatory. The main idea is to eliminate all vegetable oils, trans fats, processed carbs, added sugars, other artificial ingredients, and eat plenty of wild oily fish, grass-fed meat, and get healthy fats. Additional fish oil supplementation isn’t advisable unless you’re using a safe source or taking high-quality krill oil or cod liver oil.
  • Eat High Fat but Not Too Much: Getting the other healthy fats into your diet, such as butter, olive oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, avocados etc. will be okay. However, fat is still a rich source of calories and there’s only a certain amount your body needs. More fat won’t make you burn more fat or make you metabolically healthier. Even though we can say that saturated fat isn’t the main cause of heart disease, it’s still not a superfood you could eat in unlimited amounts. The potential evolutionary trade-off of excess fat consumption simply isn’t a wise move and not optimal for longevity. As mentioned earlier, the minimum daily dietary fat intake is 20-30 grams, which isn’t that good either. A healthy fat consumption on non-ketogenic diets should be somewhere between 20-35%, which on a 2000 daily caloric intake would be around 40-80 grams. On a low carb keto diet, it should be slightly higher but you don’t need to be eating copious amounts of dietary fat because more won’t be always better. Most people can stick between 100-180 grams of fat and be perfectly healthy. There is no metabolic advantage to eating more fat beyond using it for daily caloric maintenance.
  • Get Some Fiber: The Hadza clock up about 100 grams of fiber a day from tubers and vegetables, whereas the average fiber intake in the Western world is about 15-20 grams. You definitely don’t need fiber to survive but it can be helpful in promoting satiety, helping with digestion, clearing constipation or simply bringing in more volume to your meals while keeping the calories low. I wouldn’t recommend aiming for any more than 30-40 grams of fiber a day as it can still cause bloating, indigestion, and constipation if you overconsume it. However, if fiber helps you to be less hungry and thus eat fewer calories then it can be useful for longevity in the long-term. On some days you should be eating more, on some days a little less, and on some days completely nothing.
  • Control for Blood Sugar and Insulin: Carbohydrate consumption should always be dependent on your body’s energy demands – did you work out, what’s your general health like, how long you’ve been fasting for, are you trying to gain or lose weight? Whatever the case, aim for keeping blood sugar and insulin relatively low most of the time and raise insulin only when the body could recover from the spike faster i.e. post-workout.
  • Avoid Inflammation: Oxidative stress, free radical damage, and chronic inflammation are the root cause of atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and a myriad of other health conditions. There’s acute inflammation whether from lifting weights or eating hormetic compounds that have a beneficial effect but chronic inflammation from being stressed out, consuming too many vegetable oils, eating allergenic things, and environmental toxicity are literally degrading your mitochondria and accelerating aging.
  • Limit Allergens and Phytonutrients: It’s not wise to eat foods you’re reacting negatively to, such as gluten, grains, lectins, legumes, nuts, or dairy. You want to heal your gut and metabolism first. For healthy people, it’s okay to occasionally expose yourself to these allergens. In terms of hormesis, you’d want to be eating some beneficial plants and spices, such as wild nettles, green tea, turmeric, cinnamon, berberine, etc.
  • Cycle Your Foods: Hunter-gatherers would go through periods of eating completely different foods throughout the year. The Hadza gut microbiome also changed in between the dry and wet seasons, showing a much bigger diversity than the average Westerner’s. This is something we don’t really see in modern society. 
  • Balance Autophagy and mTOR: Some foods stimulate more mTOR whereas others are more autophagic. I’d say that’s a pretty important thing to keep in mind because your longevity is literally determined by these processes. You don’t want to have high mTOR all the time nor do you want excessive autophagy. That’s why the key to determining what food groups in what amounts you should eat depend on the time of the day, metabolic homeostasis, particular goals of that day, and in what stage of the cycle you’re in.


Toxins: Including metabolic byproducts, pesticides, environmental toxins, additives, and medicines.

Phase 1: Converting foreign matter into harmless compounds

Supporting nutrients:

  • Vitamin B complex
  • Glutathione (main antioxidant in the liver)
  • BCAAs
  • Flavonoids
  • Phospholipids
  • Carotenoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium, zinc, copper, and manganese
  • Ubiquinone (COQ10)
  • Silybum marianum (milk thistle)
  • Artichoke
  • Turmeric
  • Cruciferous plants
  • Grapefruit

Phase 2: A water soluble molecule is bound to the substance to be removed in order for the compound to be safely removed through the intestine or the kidneys

Supporting nutrients:

  • Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
  • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
  • Calcium D-glucarate
  • MSM
  • Amino acids
    • Glycine
    • Taurine
    • Glutamine
    • Cysteine
    • Methionine

Hypersensitivity and Toxins

A food allergy is an adverse immune response to a particular protein in the food. Treating it as harmful, causing a quick antibody response (immunoglobulin E (IgE)). Food allergies unrelated to the IgE reaction, like celiac disease and enterocolitis, are rarer. Factors that may increase allergy likelihood are liberal use of antibiotics in early childhood, the allergenic diet of the mother (also, holobiome and microbiome exposure), certain vaccines, and particularly the adjuvants, as well as various chemicals (such as pesticides containing dichlorophenol). They may disappear with age.

Causes of food-related hypersensitivity

  • Digestive malabsorption
  • Digestive disorders
  • Increased gut permeability
  • Immunological reactions (immunoglobulins)
  • Toxins (additives and natural compounds)
  • Psychological reactions

Histamines and Oxalates

Sensitivity may also be caused by histamine, tyramine or other biogenic compounds in the food (chocolate, red wine, tuna, fermented ingredients such as cheese). In some cases, food may release histamine into the body. This is referred to as Histamine Intolerance Syndrome (low levels of diamine oxidase, an enzyme that metabolizes histamine). Typically, histamine may cause heart rate increase, nasal congestion, flushing, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. As well as dizziness and headaches. Tyramine may trigger a migraine.

Histamines are released by mast cells, a type of white blood cell, that tends to proliferate as part of an immune response to stressors like cuts, scrapes, and allergens. They dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to a stressed area, resulting in inflammation. In mast cell activation syndrome, mast cells inappropriately and excessively release chemical mediators that can result in histamine sensitivities. It can also be brought on by leaky gut, an infection, or even excess chronic stress. To diagnose, a physician should check N-methylhistamine, prostaglandin D2, heparin, and tryptase, which can all indicate excess mast cell activity.

For stabilizing mast cells, take 500mg of quercetin 30min before each meal and at bedtime.

Avoid high levels of histamine, oxalate, or other vasoactive amine containing foods if you have brain fog or migraines:

  • Wine, alcoholic cider, beer, and other fermented drinks
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, wine vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha)
  • Vinegar-soaked foods, such as pickles and olives
  • Cured or smoked meats, such as bacon, salami, hot dogs, and smoked fish
  • Soured foods, such as sour cream, sour milk, and buttermilk
  • Dried fruit
  • Aged cheeses
  • Peanuts, walnuts, and cashews
  • Leftovers
  • Yeast (promotes histamine production in food)
  • Wheat products
  • Eggplant, spinach, and tomato
  • Certain fish such as mackerel, tuna, anchovies, and sardines

Consume instead:

  • Freshly cooked meat, fish, poultry
  • Eggs
  • Low-gluten grains (amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff, and rice)
  • Fresh fruits (mangos, pears, watermelon, apples, kiwis, cantaloupes, and grapes)
  • Fresh vegetables (not canned or preserved)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil
  • Leafy herbs, such as parsley and cilantro
  • Herbal teas

Foods that release histamine into the system:

  • Banana
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Cow’s milk
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Citrus fruits
  • Strawberry
  • Nuts
  • Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Pork
  • Egg white (raw)
  • Food additives

Diamine oxidase blockers:

  • Alcohol
  • Black tea
  • Energy drinks
  • Green tea
  • Yerba mate

Limiting oxalates from the diet seems to provide relief from symptoms of inflammatory conditions, autoimmune disorders, mineral deficiencies, and occasionally autism. Many symptoms of oxalate sensitivity overlap with histamine sensitivity. Oxalate foods such as beer, beets, chocolate, coffee, spinach, nuts, tea, and soy. If oxalic acid is elevated without an elevation in glyceric and glycolic acids, it is often because of candida overgrowth or excessively high vitamin C intake. AGXT, GRPHR, and HOGA1 genes can indicate a tendency toward oxalate sensitivity.

Toxins may appear in plants or other substances, which cause symptoms that vary depending on the individual’s sensitivity. Some toxins can be neutralized by cooking, blanching, etc.

Toxins that may have adverse effects:

  • Heavy metals
  • Dioxins and PCB compounds
  • Organotin compounds such as PVC
  • Microplastics
  • Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
  • Radioactive compounds
  • Mycotoxins
  • Carcinogens
  • Xenoestrogens which imitate the effects of estrogen
  • Antinutrients
  • Certain pesticides
  • Certain fertilizers
  • Residues of medicinal products
  • Other harmful organic compounds

Foods High in Heavy Metals

Mercury is found in dental amalgams, predatory fish, vaccines, and coal-burning power plants. Lead inhibits the synthesis of heme and can affect brain function by interfering with neurotransmitters.

Ingesting charcoal, chlorella, and other detox supplements may just drag them around and leave them elsewhere (such as in the brain) since they are only weak binders.

Avoid the following:

  • Large predatory fish, such as king mackerel, bigeye tuna, sharks, and swordfish (mercury)
  • Processed or powdered bone broth from nonorganic sources (lead)
  • High amounts of brown rice (arsenic)
  • Refined wheat flour (cadmium)
  • Soft drinks from soda fountains (cadmium in the pipes)
  • Canned food (lead)

Tests for metal toxicity depend on your body’s ability to excrete metals. Which means somebody with high metal toxicity may not show it. The way around this is to do multiple types of tests. You can also find holistic dental practitioners to prevent future metal toxicity exposure and to make sure somebody competent can remove mercury fillings without turning it into breathable vapor.


Indoor mold exposure can alter blood flow to the brain, affect autonomic nerve function and brain waves, and diminish concentration, attention, balance, and memory. A person may go from being highly intelligent to complete brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, loss of appetite, and confusion and being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Commercially grown corn is sprayed with pesticides that can cause a mutation in fungi that colonize it, pumping toxins directly into the plant. Barley, wheat, peanuts, and coffee beans can also be high in mycotoxins. The amount of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol in a product can depend on tillage practice, weather conditions, location, and crop rotation.

For candida, mold sensitivities, mold infection, and Lyme disease, you should be eating a low-carb, low-sugar diet, because carbohydrates (particularly sugar and fruit) feed candida and other fungal species.


  • Activated charcoal: Effectively absorbs pesticides and herbicides, mold toxins, endotoxins, and more. Can also remove interleukins and tumor necrosis factor, so it may help to calm an overactive immune system. However, keep in mind that it may just bind to the toxins and drag them somewhere else. 
  • Bentonite clay: Good at absorbing aflatoxin (mycotoxin found in peanuts, coffees, and grains) and pesticides, herbicides, and cyanotoxins found in lakes polluted by algal blooms. It also has antibacterial properties on the lining of the gut.
  • Chitosan: Forms the cell walls of fungi and exoskeletons of shellfish. Chitosan promotes the growth of good gut bacteria (bifidobacteria and lactobacillus) and can bind to bile salts that emulsify fat, so it can reduce fat absorption from a high-fat meal. It also binds and removes toxins present in bile salts, metals, PCBs, phthalates, and BPA. It has also been shown to have protective effects form mercury-induced gene damage.
  • Silica: It delivers insoluble thiol groups that bind to and eliminate mercury and other heavy metals.
  • Aloe vera and acacia gum: Can ease constipation that often occurs when using binders. Acacia gum contains dietary fiber that feeds friendly bifidobacteria and lactobacillus and it increases the level of butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid with anti-inflammatory effects. The bifidobacteria can then lower endotoxin levels, normalize gut function, and reduce inflammation. Aloe has a history of being used to soothe inflammation that causes peptic ulcers, gastritis, and IBD.

Superoxide anion scavengers can minimize mycotoxin damage. Along with taking vitamin C, A, selenium, and glutathione, you can ingest activated charcoal, sweat in a sauna, eat garlic, or supplement with allicin.

The reason not to use methylation therapy is because mitochondria recognize the presence of a toxin or infection due to a change in charge. They then set of a chain of events that result in halting methylation to protect the cell.

25% of people have an immune response gene that makes removing biotoxins not happen properly, leading to chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS). 

Biomarkers for mycotoxin buildup:

  • High levels of antigliadin (AGA) antibodies
  • Low vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)
  • High cortisol
  • Low vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
  • Low melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)
  • High TGF beta-1
  • High C4a
  • High anticardiolipins (ACLA) antibodies
  • Low antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
  • High matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9)
  • High leptin

You may also want to take 500mg or oral glutathione twice daily for a week before a urine test for mycotoxins to make sure you get an accurate reading.


Imitating the effects of estrogen in the body. They can be synthetic or naturally occurring. Polycarbonate plastic may release bisphenol A (BPA) which has been associated with endocrine disorders and a weakened immune system. BPA and phthalates have epigenetic effects.

Products containing xenoestrogens:

  • Intensively farmed meat
  • Canned foods
  • Plastic and plastic cling film
  • Styrofoam cups and containers
  • Pesticides
  • Paints, varnishes, and solvents
  • Many hygiene products
  • Phytoestrogens (from plants)
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Contraceptive pills and spermicides
  • Cosmetics (including hair dyes)
  • Detergents
  • Air fresheners


Natural or synthetic compounds that prevent nutrients from being absorbed, and may cause health problems. Often found in plant roots and seeds, nuts, legumes, and nightshades. All plants have protective mechanisms. The purpose is to protect plants from external factors such as bacteria, molds, insects, and pests.

Lectins: Carbohydrate binding proteins that appear in plants and animals. The roots and seeds are particularly rich in lectins. Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, peanuts), cereals, potatoes, nuts, and seeds. Lectins have the ability to bind with the surface cells of the digestive tract. This may cause gut permeability and disruptions in digestion. Raw kidney beans are particularly toxic. They contain high levels of hemagglutinin, a substance that has the ability to cause RBCs to agglutinate. It has been suggested that a link exists between lectins and autoimmunity disorders (AID) such as rheumatoid arthritis. They may even cause leptin resistance, contributing to obesity and metabolic disorders.

Phytates: Phytic acid is present on plants in salt form, i.e. phytates. Phytic acid can be found in seeds of cereals and legumes, as well as nuts. Phytic acid chelates with zinc, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium and may impair absorption. Typically, the bacterial strains that contains few phytase enzymes are able to break down phytates.

Cyanogenic glycosides: Consists of a sugar molecule bound to a cyano group via a glycosidic bond. A phytotoxin found in cassava, sorghum, bamboo shoots, almonds, and the seeds of plums, cherries, and apricots.

Oxalates: Oxalic acid and anions, salts, or esters. Oxalic acid is a poisonous substance that may damage the intestinal wall and cause kidney stones by forming oxalate crystals. Spinach, parsley, wood sorrel, and rhubarb, as well as beetroot, black pepper, cocoa beans, cereals, legumes (especially soybeans), and nuts.

Saponins: Glycosides consisting of steroids and triterpenes. They can form a soapy-like foamy structure in solutions. Soybeans, beans, peas, as well as quinoa, oats, asparagus, licorice root, sunflower seeds, and ginseng. Saponins have anti-carcinogenic and immune system stimulating effects. However, they have harmful digestive effects (impaired absorption of proteins and minerals, particularly soybeans), and hypoglycemic effects (drop in blood sugar).

Glycoalkaloids: Nightshades generally contain various amounts, e.g. solanine in potatoes. Poisonous when ingested raw in large quantities (breaks down cell membranes and inhibits cholinesterase, i.e. the functioning of substances that break down acetylcholine, etc.). Potato skins may cause intestinal damage, particularly when fried and consumed regularly. Raw green tomatoes have a lot of tomatine.

Prolamins: Nitrogen storing proteins in cereals. Rich in glutamine and proline. They include gliadin (a part of wheat gluten protein), hordein (barley), secalin (rye), avenin (oat), and zein (corn). The core parts of oats and rice grains contain low levels of prolamin. Prolamins cause intestinal damage, especially in those with celiac disease. Celiac disease involves gliadin attaching itself onto the surface of the epithelial cells in the intestine and releasing zonulin, which causes gut permeability by damaging tight junctions between the cells. In healthy individuals, the effect of gliadin on gut permeability is significantly lesser, although perceptible.

Gluten: Gluten is a term for the proteins found in wheat, including wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, and graham flour, as well as rye, barley, and triticale. Gluten acts as a glue to help foods maintain their shape, but it creates digestive difficulty. Even if it doesn’t cause obvious digestive issues it can still damage your brain and cause cerebellar ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders, depression, migraines, and headaches. Gluten sensitivities have also been tied to autism, schizophrenia, and hallucinations.

Gluten can be broken down via fermentation (like in sourdough). Sourdough lactobacilli and fungal enzymes called proteases can eliminate gluten and reduce the glycemic index. It is believed that sprouting may metabolize stored carbohydrates to fuel the plant’s growth, and partially break down proteins like gluten.

Wheat causes inflammation and gastrointestinal distress and contributes to autoimmunity and other issues by stimulating an over-release of zonulin (controls permeability of tight junctions in gut lining). Allowing bacteria, undigested food, and bacterial toxins into the bloodstream.

Gluten also reduces blood flow to the brain, interferes with thyroid function, and depletes your vitamin D stores. Resulting in misshapen proteins and aging plaque deposits.

Most crops and grains are now sprayed with glyphosate, a probable carcinogen. It also is potentially genotoxic (causes DNA mutations) and increases oxidative stress, triggering inflammation, and speeding up aging. Glyphosate also mimics estrogen and Roundup is directly toxic to mitochondria and human placental cells. Glyphosate is a glycine molecule attached to a methylphosphonyl group, which can get incorporated into your extracellular matric like glycine. Wrinkles, kidney damage (protein formation issues), cancer, hormonal disruption, etc. Meat and dairy may be raised on glyphosate covered grain.

Goitrogens: Substances that interfere with the iodine storage process. Soybeans, pine nuts, peanuts, linseeds, spinach, peaches, strawberries, and plants of the Brassica genus such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, radishes, kale, and Chinese cabbage, as well as rapeseeds and horseradish. The main cause of the goitrogenic effect is due to goitrogenic heavy metals, insecticides, dioxin, PCB, and several medicines such as NSAIDs and cholesterol medicine.

Phytoestrogens: Plant-derived xenoestrogens. The highest level is found in soybeans. Also found in legumes, alfalfa, vegetable oils (rapeseed/canola and sunflower), cereal products, and processed meat products. They bind to estrogen receptors and may interfere with the menstrual cycle. Soy-based infant formula is not recommended. A meta-analysis (2010) did not indicate an effect on testosterone in the blood or male fertility.

Enzyme inhibitors: Found in plants, they inhibit digestive enzymes. Protease inhibitors, which affect trypsin and pepsin, can be found in raw soybeans. Amylase inhibitors, high levels in kidney beans, interfere with the breakdown and absorption of starch and other complex carbohydrates.

To reduce antinutrients it is recommended that you combine several methods

  • Sprouting
  • Soaking (adding lactic acid bacteria, diluted hydrogen peroxide, iodine, vinegar or baking soda to the soaking water may boost the soaking process, e.g. for removal of phytates)
  • Boiling or blanching (reduces oxalate levels, etc.)
  • Cooking (reduces phytotoxins in cassava and phytic acid in cereal products)
  • Lactic acid fermentation (reduces phytotoxins in cassava and phytic acid in cereal products)

The condition of the intestinal mucous membranes may be improved by using lactic acid bacteria, colostrum, glutamine, and silica.

Food Preparation Methods

No method is perfect, some foods are better raw, whereas proper processing may facilitate better nutrient absorption. Not to mention breaking down toxic chemicals that may make some foods inedible.

Favor these methods

  • Slow cooking
  • Boiling
  • Stewing
  • Steaming
  • Oven-baking slowly
  • Sous-vide
  • Raw food
  • Fermentation
  • Frying with water

Avoid or use sparingly

  • Frying at a temperature higher than 140C (285F)
  • Stewing in tinfoil
  • Grilling
  • Cooking in the microwave
  • Flambéing
  • Smoking
  • Deep frying

Benefits and Drawbacks of Cooking

Harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasite eggs are destroyed during cooking. Heating also breaks down harmful compounds. Some nutrients are lost upon cooking, e.g. broccoli loses water soluble vitamins B and C when boiled. Many minerals are also dissolved in cooking water. Steamed food retains its nutrients better. Beta-carotene in carrots and tomatoes are absorbed more efficiently when cooked. Only 4% is absorbed from a raw carrot. Pureeing and cooking may increase absorption fivefold. On the downside, carotenoids may become less beneficial when cooked.

The Maillard reaction (browning) improves the flavor of food but impairs the absorption of proteins. The reaction forms compounds that produce brown color and flavors that are central to the color and taste of many foods (MRP compounds). It starts at approximately 140C. The Maillard reaction also produces carcinogenic compounds where the temperature exceeds 180C.

Cooking and harmful compounds

Glycotoxins (advanced glycation end-products, AGEs), heterocyclic amines (HCAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and acrylamide (AA). They increase oxidative stress, raising inflammatory biomarkers and weakening the arterial walls. Increasing the risk of diabetes and CV diseases. Cut out the glycotoxin rich foods like full fat cheese, butter, bacon, sausage, and processed meats. Acrylamide, formed during vegetable browning has a distinct yellow or dark brown color. The toxins formed while cooking fat and protein are more harmful than while frying carbohydrates. Consider boiling instead. Temperature, not cooking time, is key. Stewing in tinfoil reduces glycotoxins and HCAs but the amount of aluminum released into the food is up to 6 times the safe daily upper limit.


Reduce harmful compounds by marinating:

  • Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are reduced by up to 90% when meat is marinated for 4 hours or more in alcoholic beverages and strong spices such as garlic, ginger, thyme, rosemary, and chili, or when marinated for 6 hours or more in beer.
  • Cherries, blueberries, blackcurrants, plums, and kiwifruit used in marinades reduce the amount of HCAs.
  • Adding vitamin E reduces the amount of HCAs.
  • Adding vitamin C reduces the amount of glycotoxins.
  • Turmeric diminishes the effect of glycotoxins.
  • Frying in extra virgin olive oil produces the least HCAs.
  • The amount of AGEs can be reduced by using sour ingredients like lemon juice and vinegar.
  • The amount off potentially carcinogenic substances can be reduced by adding glucose during browning.
  • Acrylamide in potatoes can be reduced by blanching them before frying.
  • Adding amino acids such as glycine and glutamine to the dough before baking reduces the amount of acrylamide by up to 90%.


Avoid using photodegradable materials such as plastic containers. Favor ceramics, metal, and glass:

  • Protect from light in dark or tinted containers.
  • Protect from heat by utilizing a root cellar or refrigerator.
  • Protect from air in an airtight container or vacuum bag.
  • Drying and freeze-drying.
  • Sterilize at high temperatures.
  • Preventing oxidation with strong spices.
  • Preventing oxidation with vitamins C and E.
  • Preserving in a modified atmosphere, honey, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, or oil.

Ensuring the sufficient intake of nutrients

According to Bruce Ames’ triage theory of micronutrients and aging, the body uses the nutrient reserves of various internal organs to maintain short-term health in a state of malnutrition. Iron deficiency strips iron reserves form the liver. Long-term deficiency weakens the body and causes DNA and mitochondrial damage, leading to cancer and aging.

Daily food diary (can download apps or buy smart scales):

  • Macronutrients.
  • Micronutrient amounts from the food eaten.
  • Calorie intake compared to the daily energy expenditure (basal metabolic rate and physical activity).
  • Water consumed (1.5-2l per day recommended).
  • Caffeine intake (max 400mg).
  • The amount of salt in the food eaten (max 5g).
  • Regularity of mealtimes.
  • Photos of the meals eaten.

Reviewing Nutrients


Excess sodium may cause hypertension, which can also cause kidney failure, kidney artery aneurysm, retinopathy, sexual dysfunction, bone loss, coronary artery disease, enlarged left heart ventricle, heart failure, aneurysm, complications during pregnancy, aortic dissection, and obstructive sleep apnea. However, we need sodium for normal cellular function and contain about 92g, mostly in extracellular fluid. Sodium is essential for carrying nerve impulses, maintaining muscle function, and regulating fluid balance and blood pressure. Chloride is needed for digestion and respiration. Unless you are consuming over 4000mg a day you probably don’t need to reduce your intake. It is better to increase potassium and magnesium to relax blood vessels and decrease blood pressure.

Cultures that consume high amounts of salt, like Asiatic ones, also consume potassium and magnesium in things like seaweed. Potassium is the one that must be kept in balance with sodium (1:1). You don’t want too much magnesium or else you will loosen your stool.

The quality of the salt depends on the cleanliness of the sea and the area in which the salt was handled. Favor coarse sea salt and grind it yourself. Some countries add iodine to salt but it isn’t the best source. Instead, take one tsp of kelp to get the same amount of iodine as one pound of iodine-enriched sea salt.

Mix together different types of salts and dried herbs to maximize nutritional density. Sea salt, rose salt, and black salt with rosemary, basil, and mint.


  • Purity tested, unrefined sea salts
  • Mineral salts
  • Pink salts sold under various names (Himalayan salt, rose salt, rock salt, halite)
    • Aztec or Celtic are preferable over Himalayan as it can contain high heavy metal content
  • Black salts
  • Herbamare seasoning
  • Rare specialty salts (with monosodium glutamate, MSG)


  • Common refined salts and table salt
  • Seasoned salt (with monosodium glutamate, MSG)


Compared to cane sugar, white refined sugar has no trace elements or minerals. White refined sugar can interfere with the absorption of Ca, Mg, Zn, and Fe. It also consumes the body’s supply of trace elements and minerals, as sugar metabolism requires several different trace elements.

Excess white sugar use is associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, disrupted fat metabolism, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar and fructose also strain the liver.


  • Unheated and unfiltered.
  • Unprocessed local honey, produced in an unpolluted area and collected from a single farm.
  • Varietal honey (for example buckwheat, manuka, tualang)
  • The darker the color, the better
  • The lower age limit for honey is 12 months because of the higher chance of botulism caused by Colistridium botulinum due to underdeveloped intestinal flora. Useful for acute coughing and allergy desensitization therapy.
  • Herb honey: Vanilla, spirulina, or nettle seeds in honey.

Crystallized sugars:


  • Coconut sugar
  • Whole cane sugar (Indian, rapadura, kokuto, mascobado)


  • Bleached sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Baking sugar (including icing sugar, soft brown, vanillin sugar)
  • Fructose

High intensity sweeteners and sugar alcohols:

It’s been said that many artificial sweeteners are known to be neurotoxic. Although, the research around artificial sweetener safety in the human body is mixed. It hasn’t existed long enough to gauge reliable epidemiological data. In animal studies, they have shown to cause weight gain, brain tumors, and bladder cancer. The FDA’s “generally recognized as safe” list is: saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, neotame, and acesulfame potassium.

A Nature article showed that saccharine can disrupt the gut microbiome, which can increase inflammatory cytokines. Saccharine is not the usual sweetener. Stevia and monkfruit are distinctly different to saccharine. The negative effectives of saccharine can be blocked with antibiotics. It shifts the microbiome, not kills it.

If you pair artificial sweeteners with glucose, you may condition yourself to associate the craving of sugar with the artificial sweetener, as well as messing with your body’s primed expectation for glucose. Insulin levels go up in response to a diet soda/food. Don’t have diet soda with food unless you want to end up with type 2 diabetes from drinking the diet drinks later on without food. Only consume a diet soda without food so you don’t mess up your blood sugar management.

Particular artificial sweeteners can also have a deleterious effect on the microbiome. 


  • Birch-based xylitol
  • Green stevia (leaves of the whole plant)


  • GMO xylitol
  • Splenda (sucralose) is a chlorinated artificial sugar. In animal studies, higher doses were associated with decreased male fertility and brain lesions. Also, to negatively impact gut bacteria, which is useful in regulating inflammation
  • Erythritol
  • Sorbitol
  • Steviol glycoside extracts (white stevia)
  • Aspartame: When aspartame is heated above 86F in your body, the wood alcohol converts into formaldehyde. This turns into formic acid and causes metabolic acidosis. Another of its byproducts is phenylalanine, which those with phenylketonuria cannot metabolize, which can cause brain damage
  • Acesulfame K



  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut syrup
  • Yacon syrup
  • Kitul palm (caryota urens) syrup
  • Spruce tip syrup


  • Fructose-glucose syrup (corn syrup)
  • Agave, sugar syrup, flavor syrups


  • Luo han guo (monk fruit)
  • Lucuma
  • Nopal cactus (prickly pear)
  • Inulin
  • Licorice root


Flavor and scents are sourced from oxidizing and vaporizing plant parts. Ground spices lose flavor and medicinal effects over longer cooking periods. Whole spices keep for 2 years, whereas ground spices keep for 6 months.


  • Wild vegetables and wild spices
  • Fresh ginger and turmeric
  • Garlic and onions
  • Chili, cayenne, and black pepper
  • Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, caraway, fennel, and bay leaves
  • Rosemary, oregano, thyme, dill, tarragon, coriander, mint, basil, parsley, and sage
  • Maintaining your own miniature herb garden near a window or balcony
  • Purchasing organic spices whole (not ground)


  • Highly irradiated spices
  • Expired spice shakers that have been constantly exposed to light, heat, and moisture
  • Many spices such as peppers can go moldy if handled directly over the cooktop

Coumarin is an aromatic component in cinnamon (Chinese cassia is the most common type used and contains heaps). Ceylon contains very little but is expensive. The point being, it is very toxic to the liver and should be limited to 0.1mg per on kg of body weight per day.

Turmeric may provide protection against neurodegeneration from Alzheimer’s, have a positive effect on inflammatory illnesses like arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Also, it is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal with a cancer preventative effect too.

Animal Products

Quality over quantity, eat a wide variety of parts (nose to tail), including bone broth and offal. Use spices to aid digestion and provide the system with anti-inflammatory compounds.

Intensively farmed meat has been linked to various illnesses. Eat as organically as possible. The higher up the food chain you are, the more links there are below that can affect quality and nutrient density. The animal’s genetics, environment, diet, freedom of movement, quality of drinking water, veterinary medicines used, and other factors have an effect on the amount of nutrients and harmful substances in the meat.

Highly processed meats increase the risk of bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, esophageal cancer, and gastric cancer. Grass-fed animals have better fatty acid compositions and antioxidants.

Eating only the muscle meat causes an amino acid imbalance. Muscle tissue is rich in methionine, which can cause oxidative stress and accelerated aging. Muscle meat doesn’t have much glycine, which is found in collagen rich parts like connective tissue, bone marrow, and skin.

The meat’s heme iron causes oxidation upon heating and promotes cancer-causing nitrosamine compounds.


  • Wide variety of animal parts (bones, bone marrow, tongue, connective tissue, offal such as liver and heart). Muscle meat (cheek, chuck, short loin, sirloin, tenderloin, top sirloin, bottom sirloin, ox tail, round, flank, plate, brisket, shank)
  • Eat various types of animals
  • Favor grass-fed animals, game, and indigenous breeds (Finncattle, Highland cattle, bison, and sheep)
  • Hunt your own meat or arrange for a direct connection to the origin
  • Avoid intensively farmed meat, sausages, and cold cuts
  • Favor long cooking times at low temperatures, i.e. slow cooking and boiling
  • Avoid high temperatures, i.e. frying, grilling, and deep frying
  • Add spices that support digestion and absorption (such as herbs, peppers, ginger, and turmeric) and foods that support absorption (pineapple, papaya, and sauerkraut)


Twice per week. Rich in fatty acids (omega-3), trace elements, vitamins (vitamin D rich), and amino acids. Lower incidents of cardiovascular disease.

Environmental toxins such as dioxins and PCBs are concentrated in fish fat. The fattier the fish, the higher the toxins. Highest mercury is found in sharks, swordfish, and bigeye tuna (predatory fish). Due to the Minamata convention, which prohibits mercury exportation, mercury levels should decrease in a few decades.

Regardless of the negative effects associated with heavy metals, liberal fish consumption reduces the risk of coronary artery disease, lung cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Fish oil raises the adiponectin levels in the body. Adiponectin deficiency can be a predisposing factor for obesity, metabolic syndrome, and other metabolic disorders. It is anti-inflammatory and oxidative stress preventing.


  • Eat the whole fish and use fish guts as stock
  • Eat various types of fish with lower chemicals and heavy metals
  • Wild fish and supplement with organically farmed
  • Catch your own fish or arrange for a direct connection to the origin
  • Avoid intensively farmed fish, processed fish products, and deep fried fish
  • Favor longer cooking times at low temperatures, i.e. slow cooking and boiling
  • Avoid high temperatures, i.e. frying, grilling, and deep frying
  • Add spices such as herbs, peppers, ginger, dill, turmeric, and coriander
  • You can alleviate the impact of heavy metals with seaweed, chlorella, and coriander

Health impact of wild fish compared to farmed:

  • Wild have higher omega-3, trace elements, and vitamins
  • Wild contain fewer poor quality fat compounds
  • Antibiotics, hormones, PCB, neurotoxins, pesticides and other toxins have been found in farmed fish
  • Wild fish may contain more mercury

Mercury levels:

Low (safe to eat 2-3 times per week):

  • Flounder
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon (farmed)
  • Common sole
  • Octopus/squid
  • Crayfish and crab
  • Sardine
  • Whitefish
  • Herring
  • Mussels, clams, and oysters
  • Trout
  • Cod

Moderate (once per week):

  • Perch
  • Lobster
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Burbot
  • Seabass
  • Monkfish
  • Atlantic halibut
  • Canned tuna
  • Skipjack

High (1-2 per month):

  • Pike
  • Yellowfish tuna
  • Canned tuna
  • Albacore

Very high (avoid):

  • Bigeye tuna
  • Swordfish

Crustaceans and mollusks

Oysters are by far the most nutrient dense mollusk, containing the most zinc in proportion to their weight (4 x medium oysters = 33mg of Zn, lots of selenium, B complex, vitamin E, Cu, protein, omega-3). Shrimp often lack nutrients and may contain harmful bacteria and medicine due to intensive farming.


  • Oysters
  • Clams
  • Mussels
  • Scallops
  • Lobster, crab, and crayfish
  • Snails
  • Cuttlefish


  • Shrimp


Rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, phospholipids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline. Xanthophylls, which they are rich in, are essential for eye health in the elderly. Eggs also increase carotenoid levels in blood serum and eye tissue. Not to mention lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Individuals who consume eggs often have a 25% lower risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Some people are allergic, some suffer from a hereditary dysfunction in fatty-acid metabolism, and some have the ApoE4-allele, which might cause dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism. Although, a study found that egg or cholesterol intake was not associated with increased coronary artery disease risk, even in ApoE4 carriers. It would still be wise to limit intake if you have the homozygous allele (both alleles E4) though.

There is a more realistic risk of developing hyper-sensitivity as a result of regular consumption.

When selecting eggs, note the following:

  • Fresh eggs sink in water, old eggs float
  • Egg whites of fresh eggs are firmer, whites of old are runny
  • The more vivid the yolk, the more fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids
  • Favor organic free range/pastured. Higher in good fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and carotenoids
  • Avoid indoor eggs (including cage-free) and caged. Higher risk of salmonella
  • Note the packaging date
  • Vary the types of eggs you eat (quail, duck, and goose)

Prepare them to maintain maximal nutrients:

  • Egg white has albumin which contains enzyme inhibitors when raw. Cook the white
  • Avoid eating just the white
  • Conalbumin interferes with iron absorption, avidin hinders the absorption of vitamin B complex
  • The yolk should be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Frying or boiling oxidizes fats, denatures proteins, and destroys one half of the precious xanthophylls
  • In terms of flavor and consistency, even the slightest change in cooking water temperature will change its structure
  • Keep eggs at room temperature and use within 7-10 days
  • Refrigerated eggs will last 30-45 days
  • Do not eat eggs that are old, broken, or watery egg white

Cooking the perfect egg

  • Place eggs in water and raise the temp. When boiling, remove from heat and leave to sit under a lid for 6 minutes. The internal temp will keep for several minutes, whereas the shells are much less likely to crack when removed from heat
  • Pour out the hot water and quench the eggs with cold water. Add 1tbsp of baking soda. The raised pH detaches the egg white from the shell. Leave in the cold water for 2-5min before eating

Milk products

The positive effects of milk (lower CVD, heart attack, abdominal obesity, type 2 diabetes) may be because of milk fat – the CLA, vitamin K2, and butyric acid.

Excessive milk consumption stimulates mucus production in the respiratory tract via the beta-casomorphin-7 peptide, of which there is plenty in milk. Particularly in asthmatic individuals. In these cases it is best to abandon milk altogether, to stop the inflammatory cycle from hypersensitivity. Taking calcium supplements alongside milk is associated with coronary artery disease and significant increase in the risk of heart attack.

High calcium causes magnesium deficiency (which is one of the main factors preventing coronary artery disease). Increasing the risk of heart attack and breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Milk consumption doesn’t prevent osteoporosis. It actually increases the risk of bone fractures in women. Regular consumption contributes to low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress.

A1 milk proteins are associated with heart disease and intestinal inflammation. European cows (excluding France), the USA, Australia, and NZ have these cows.

Grass-fed cows have more omega-3 fatty acids and organic cows have more CLA.


  • Goat, sheep, Scottish higland, Limousin, Piedmontese or other indigenous breeds of dairy cattle
  • Fermented milk products (kefir)
  • Grass-fed and organic butter
  • Raw milk from small farms


  • Highly processed milk and fat-free milk products
  • Processed milk products such as milk-based drinks
  • Yogurts sweetened with sugar and digestive yogurts


Refining cereals undermines the nutritional value (vitamin B complex, zinc, magnesium, phytoestrogens, and selenium are removed with the husks). Epidemiological studies link wholegrains to better health, most likely due to overall better living habits of those who consume whole grains, as well as reduced processed cereals. Wholegrains don’t lower inflammation or improve insulin sensitivity. Better to eat vegetables.

Gluten is a large scale protein molecule that consists of numerous peptides (at least 50 of which have been found to destroy the epithelial cells in the intestine, disrupt immune function, and cause leaky gut syndrome). Dr. Alessio Fassano, found an increased occurrence of the zonulin protein in autoimmunity diseases (AID), such as celiac. Zonulin modulates the tight junctions between intestinal cells. The more zonulin, the more permeable the gut. When a celiac eats gluten, zonulin increases immediately, this stimulates the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, causing loosening of the tight junctions, and destruction if prolonged.

Gluten hypersensitivity is more common than celiac disease. Testing for celiac disease does not rule out gluten hypersensitivity. Laboratory tests such as LBP, FABP2, and EndoCAb antibodies will make diagnosis easier in the future. Increased gut permeability has not been found in those with hypersensitivity, is therefore not an AID, and is distinct from celiacs.

Rely on vegetables and root crops for carbohydrates, and oats, quinoa, and buckwheat if necessary. Indigenous grains are typically better.


  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Oat
  • Canihua
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Teff


  • Wheat and other wheat varieties that contain gluten (spelt, einkorn, and emmer wheat)
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Maize


Long grain rice is rich in amylose, short grain and some long are rich in amylopectin (e.g. Thai sticky). Due to the function of digestive enzymes, amylopectin may raise blood sugar levels more rapidly than amylose. Wholegrain rice is more nutrient dense but also has antinutrients that interfere with absorption, as well as toxins like soil-based arsenic. The nutritional value of wholegrain rice decreases significantly with cooking. White rice consists of starch, some protein, and certain trace elements, but is less nutrient dense. However, no antinutrients. It should always be soaked to remove impurities. A good ingredient to get glucose for the nervous system and supply glycogen reserves.


  • Basmati
  • Jasmine
  • Other long grain
  • Organic black


  • Instant rice
  • Porridge rice
  • Short grain
  • Wholegrain
  • Brown rice


86% in the US is GMO and 32% (2011) of the world total. Grown for ethanol, fattening livestock, and intensive farming is harmful to the environment (especially groundwater pollution).

If non-GMO it can be a good source of starch. However, the high zein content (a gluten-like prolamine compound) is not suggested for celiacs as it may cause an immune reaction to the intestine, similar to celiac disease.

Maize is frequently used for high fructose corn syrup, used as a sweetener. Which has been linked to diabetes, excess weight, metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease.

Also corn oil, which has an unfavorable fatty acid composition for humans. High levels of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids that oxidize readily, predisposing to inflammation.

Root Vegetables and Tubers

The most common ones are carrots, beetroot, cassava, rutabaga, turnips, yams, sweet potatoes, radishes, and celeriac. Nutritionally valuable due to fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and calcium. Carrots have high beta-carotene and other carotenoids.

The potato is not a root vegetable, it is a nightshade like eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers. They are fairly rich in potassium, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C. Promotes satiety. They also contain some glycoalkaloids (alpha-solanine and beta-chaconine) which are toxic to humans. Typically low in cultivated potatoes but may increase if exposed to sunlight during the growing season. Green or sprouting gives toxic potatoes away. Early crop potatoes contain the most solanine.

Glycoalkaloids may cause headache, diarrhea, restlessness, and nausea. Mostly found in the skins. Peeling dramatically decreases solanine content. Unpeeled and fried are terrible as glycoalkaloids are oil-soluble. Potatoes cooked in high temperature also produce toxic compounds such as acrylamide and acrolein.

Sweet potatoes contain more beta-carotene, anthocyanins, vitamin C, and fiber. It also raises blood sugar slower. Although, potatoes contain more starch for the intestinal flora to eat. Best to eat either after working out to replenish glycogen reserves.


  • A wide variety of seasonal roots
  • Organic potatoes
  • Boiling and steaming potatoes
  • Seasonally grown local potatoes
  • Large-sized tubers (less glycoalkaloids)
  • So-called almond potatoes (mostly grown in Finland, Sweden, and Norway), which have high levels of resistant starch


  • Potatoes fried in oil
  • Potato chips
  • Other heavily processed potato products
  • Eating potato peels
  • Green and damaged potatoes
  • Very small-sized tubers (more glycoalkaloids)

Vegetables, fruits, and berries

It is recommended to eat 5-9 portions (around 400g) daily. 1 part fruit, 2 parts berries, 3 parts vegetables. Only about 10% of people reach these recommendations. Linked to a lower risk of death, particularly CVD.

There is significant variability in the absorption of many vegetables, fruits, and berries depending on preparation. Vegetables and berries typically require fat for absorption of vitamins. Fruits and root vegetables may be used to supplement the diet after exercise or to encourage sleep.


Kiwifruit promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria in the intestine and help to treat IBS. The polyphenols act as antioxidants. They also contain 5 times more vitamin C than oranges.

90% of pesticide residues come from intensively farmed, imported fruit. Eat local to reduce toxins, get more nutrients, and protect the planet.

Place avocados and bananas together to ripen them faster. Bananas are treated with ethylene, a plant hormone gas to help them ripen.


  • Locally grown, seasonal fruit (for example, apples)
  • Organic fruit
  • Fatty fruits (avocado, olive)
  • Low-sugar fruits (lemon, lime, grapefruit, kiwifruit)
  • Nutritious fruits that contain slightly more sugar (papaya, nectarines, peaches, watermelon, pomegranate, apples)

Use sparingly:

  • Varieties cultivated for extreme sweetness (mango, fig, banana, dried fruits like dates, raisins and apricots). The optimal time to consume is after exercise or the evening.
  • Varieties cultivated for sweetness (mandarin, orange, pear, plum, and pineapple)


  • Commercial fruit juices and concentrated juice
  • Artificially added fructose

Half a lemon into half a quart of water, mixed with high quality salt first thing. Lemon juice supports the digestive system and acts as a diuretic, removing waste products that have accumulated overnight. Salt helps the adrenal glands to produce cortisol needed for waking up.

Sugar and nutrient content of fruit

Apple: 8.2% sugar, quercetin, epicatechin, fibers (2.4%)

Apricot: 10.6%, carotenoids, potassium, manganese, vitamin A

Avocado: 0.7%, monosaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Sterols, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, carotenoids, vitamin K, vitamin B complex

Banana: 13.5%, potassium, tryptophan, manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6

Date (dried): 38.2%, potassium (687mg/100g), magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B complex, manganese

Fig (fresh): 16%, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, carotenoids, vitamin K

Grape (de-stoned): 15.5%, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B2, and B6

Grapefruit: 6.5%, vitamin C, carotenoids, pantothenic acid, pectin, lycopene. Grapefruit seed oil has antimicrobial properties

Kiwifruit: 6.8%, vitamin C (100mg/100g), pantothenic acid, vitamin E

Lemon: 2.2%, vitamin C (51mg/100g),, vitamin B6, iron 

Lime: 1.7%, vitamin C, some vitamin B complex, calcium, iron

Mandarine: 8.2%, vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium

Mango: 13.7%, folate, vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium

Olive: 0%, monosaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, sodium

Orange: 8.9%, vitamin C, potassium, calcium

Papaya: 10.7%, vitamin C, carotenoids, potassium

Peach: 7.8%, potassium, niacin, phenols

Pear: 8.0%, vitamin C, potassium, fibers

Pineapple: 11.2%, potassium, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, carotenoids; bromelain enzyme

Plum: 8.2%, potassium, carotenoids, vitamin K

Pomegranate: 13.7%, linoleic acid, ellagitannin, anthocyanin, vitamin B complex

Watermelon: 7.1%, carotenoids, vitamin C, citrulline


150-200g of berries a day. They are high in vitamins, flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins, and insoluble fiber. Less sugar than fruit. The polyphenols give them their color, which acts as a defense mechanism (wild have more). Cultivated ones are covered in pesticides.

Regular consumption protects the cardiovascular system (due to the antioxidants), lowers blood pressure, and reduces the level of inflammatory agents in the blood. Also lowers type 2 diabetes risk and have properties that promote eye (anthocyanins especially) and brain health.

Boil or cook frozen berries to kill potential viruses and food poisoning. Exotic berries like gojis, inca, and mulberries are good but contain pesticide residues and sulfur dioxide as a preservative.


  • Wild berries: bilberries, lingonberries, cranberries, blackcurrant, sea buckthorn, blackberries, cloudberries, chokeberries, arctic raspberries, crowberries, rowanberries, wild raspberries, and wild strawberries
  • Locally grown cultivated berries
  • Berry powders
  • Imported organic berries (inca, mulberry, and goji)


  • Imported frozen berries


Lycopene in tomatoes has been found to protect from cancer, stroke, and CVD. Vegetables are rich in polyphenols as well as trace elements and vitamins. The darker the color, the more likely to be protective and reduce silent inflammation.

Intensely colored veggies also have properties that protect from type 2 diabetes and reducing coronary artery disease and stroke.

Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, lowers stomach and lung cancer risk. Sulforaphane has been found to have breast cancer preventative effects. 4 servings a week may prevent prostate cancer in men. Broccoli removes toxins, supports endocrine function, and maintains the function of antioxidants in the system.


  • Anthocyanins: Red, blue, and purple berries; red and purple grapes; red wine
  • Flavonols:
    • Catechins: Tea (green and white tea), chocolate, grapes, berries, apples.
    • Theaflavins and thearubigins: Tea (black and oolong)
    • Proanthocyanidins: Chocolate, apples, berries, red grapes, red wine
  • Flavones: Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons)
  • Flavonols (such as quercetin): Capers, yellow onions, lovage, dill, leeks, spring onions, cabbage, broccoli, apples, berries, tea
  • Flavones: Parsley, thyme, celery, hot peppers
  • Isoflavones: Soybeans, legumes

Wild greens contain more antioxidants, vitamins, and trace elements. Also, no pesticides. Stronger in flavor, but the site is important for reducing potential pollution of the plant. Nettle has shown to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetics, ease joint pain, and reduce prostatic hyperplasia.


  • Wild greens
  • The darkest green vegetables such as kale and chard
  • Sprouts and new crops
  • Cabbages
  • Onions (particularly colorful ones)


  • Iceberg lettuce and other similar varieties containing few nutrients
  • Pale, wilted or translucent vegetables
  • Uncooked nightshades that are rich in antinutrients and particularly eggplant if you are sensitive to nicotine

Fats and oils

Vitamins A, E, D, and K are fat soluble and hormones like leptin are made from saturated fat and cholesterol. Myelin is also made from fat. Saturated fat is so important that the body can convert carbs into palmitate, a type of saturated fat, which gets converted into other saturated fats and monosaturated fats necessary for cell membranes. Remember that it is gut bacteria that creates plaques that build up in arteries, not dietary cholesterol.

Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which mitochondria use for energy. When you run out, fat gets converted into glycerol for energy. The liver produces ketones as a by-product of fat metabolism, and your mitochondria burn ketones instead of glucose in a more efficient form of energy production.

The general rule of thumb is that the shorter the saturated fat the more anti-inflammatory it is, such as butyric acid. Oxidized fats cause you to age more quickly by building less effective cell membranes. Your cells use saturated fats, which are the most stable of the fats, to make about 45% of the cell membranes in the brain and liver, and 35% in the heart and muscle cells. When you eat more saturated fats, the cells in adipose tissue change their makeup to contain more stable saturated fats without changing in size. Resulting in fewer free radicals from unstable oxidation.

The next most stable fats, monounsaturated fats, are a little bit more flexible and are found in avocados, olive oil, and some nuts (20% of cell membranes). Brain cells hold the most monosaturated fat and maintain a constant level. Fat cells will dump less stable fats in exchange for monounsaturated fat, so eat olive oil.

35% of membranes are made of a combination of polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6s. You can get the anti-inflammatory omega-3s from cold-water fish and walnuts and olive oil. Fish is 15% more effective though. Polyunsaturated omega-6s are quite unstable and inflammatory. Eating too much omega-6 fatty acids can contribute to cancer and metabolic problems. Oxidized omega-6s can damage DNA, inflame heart tissue, raise your risk of several types of cancer, and disrupt optimal brain metabolism.

Hydrogenated omega-6 fatty acids (trans fats) are shelf-stable for processed foods. They get used for cell membranes but cannot function properly, resulting in health problems. Frying with omega-6s can form artificial trans fats. If the oil gets used over and over again it becomes oxidized too.

If you are lean, you want to eat the same composition of fats that you want stored in your body (50% saturated, 25% monounsaturated, 15-20% undamaged omega-6 and 5-10% omega-3 (EPA and DHA)). If overweight, eat a higher proportion of saturated and monounsaturated. When testing for heart health it is better to look at CRP and homocysteine than cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The fat levels in the heart, brain, and muscle cells are different to the blood cells.

If oil is refined instead of cold pressed, i.e. if it is heated up to 260C, the quality and properties are significantly compromised. The refinement and impurity elimination process also removes plant sterols, chlorophyll, flavoring agents, polyphenols acting as antioxidants, lignans, lecithin, squalene, and other fat soluble active substances.

Virgin coconut oil contains phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants (ferulic acid, p-Coumaric acid, and tocopherols) which are not present in coconut shortening. Virgin coconut oil has a better antioxidant effect than highly pressed coconut oil. Polyphenols have been shown to calm inflammation.

Butter contains CLA, vitamins A, D, and K. High quality butter also contains trace amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It all depends on the proportion of grass in a cow’s diet, the soil nutrients, the cow’s health, and time spent outdoors.

Saturated fat is needed for normal cell membrane function and the heart, to carry calcium into bones, and hormone production.

Ghee removes the milk proteins and can withstand high temperatures because of this. Ghee and butter contain butyric acid which can reduce intestinal inflammation.

Olive oil should be pressed, within 18 hours of handpicking, below 27C to retain the natural antioxidants. High quality olive oil has been shown to contain inflammation reducing effects similar to anti-inflammatory drugs, due to phenol compounds (Olecanthal especially). Regular use of virgin olive oil is associated with lower risk of stroke, cerebrovascular disorder, and various types of cancer.

Fish oil and fish liver oil are recommended for those that don’t eat enough fatty fish (2 x a week). Fish and other seafood contain long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Omega-3s can be found in vegetable oils, but they mostly contain short-chain alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is poorly absorbed in men. If taking fish oils, don’t let them be exposed to air or light or else they will oxidize.

Omega-3 fatty acids improve mood, increase attentiveness, and generally improve cognitive functions. Shown to be beneficial in the treatment of depression and the E-EPA reduces silent inflammation, which contributes to many chronic illnesses.

DHA has been shown to improve memory and reaction time in adults, slow down down aging of the brain, may prevent dementia, and improve learning. Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure and DHA improves blood lipid levels. In women omega-3 use appears to reduce risk of stroke.

High quality vegetable oils may be useful for getting a good balance of fatty acids but some aren’t due to high omega-6 fatty acids. Processed vegetable oils are highly oxidizing and may increase inflammation.

The balance ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 in indigenous people was approximately 2:1, whereas the European average is 8:1 and in the US is up to 20:1.


  • Organic fats and oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Ghee and butter
  • Fish liver oil and krill oil
  • Cold-pressed virgin olive oil and coconut oils
  • Cold-pressed avocado, macadamia, and hemp oils
  • Oils stored in dark glass bottles, protected from light and heat
  • High quality cold-pressed vegetable oil blends
  • Dietary supplements of cold-pressed linseed oil and wheat germ oil


  • Hydrogenated vegetable fats
  • Vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids
  • Oils stored in plastic bottles
  • Oxidized oils, oils exposed to light and heat

Vegetable oil omega levels:


  • Omega-6: 20%
  • Omega-3: 9%


  • Omega-6: 55%
  • Omega-3: 22% (ALA)


  • Omega-6: 14%
  • Omega-3: 57% (ALA)


  • Omega-6: 3%
  • Omega-3: 0%


  • Omega-6: 54%
  • Omega-3: 0%


  • Omega-6: 32%
  • Omega-3: 0%


  • Omega-6: 20%
  • Omega-3: 9%


  • Omega-6: 51%
  • Omega-3: 7%


  • Omega-6: 65%
  • Omega-3: 0%


  • Omega-6: 52%
  • Omega-3: 10% (ALA)

Every cell in your body has a membrane responsible for allowing compounds to move in and out of the cell so that it can function properly. Those membranes are primarily formed by the fats you consume. If your diet is high in damaged fatty acids like corn, canola, safflower, or sunflower oil; trans fats; the fish oil you take is rancid and exposed to light and heat; if your steak is from corn and grain fed cows, those damaged fats get incorporated into the building blocks of your cell membranes – including those of your neurons. Damaged, highly reactive fats are found in most brands of potato chips, french fries, fried packaged foods, and pretty much any other fatty food that has been (1) heated at too high a temperature for the fat to remain stable, or (2) exposed to too much pressure for the fat to retain its natural structure.

Margarine, frosting, and vegetable shortening all contain volatile and highly oxidative trans fats. High blood levels of trans fats have been directly associated with poor cognitive function, low brain volume, heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, low birth rate, obesity, immune dysfunction, impaired memory, and increased brain inflammation.

Trans fats increase oxidative stress and promote endothelial dysfunction, which result in vascular damage that limits blood flow and delivery of energy substrates to cells and tissues.

Oil smoke points:

Avocado oil

  • Smoke point: 520F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking, low-heat cooking, dressing, finishing

Butter, ghee

  • Smoke point (unrefined/refined): 300/480F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking, baking

Coconut oil

  • Smoke point (unrefined/refined): 350/450F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking, sautéing, baking

Duck fat

  • Smoke point: 375F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking

Lard (pork, bacon fat)

  • Smoke point: 375F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking

Macadamia nut oil

  • Smoke point: 410F
  • Best uses: low-heat cooking, dressing, finishing

Olive oil

  • Smoke point (unrefined/refined): 320/465F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking, low-heat cooking, dressing, finishing

Peanut oil

  • Smoke point (unrefined/refined): 230/450F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking

Rice bran oil

  • Smoke point: 415F
  • Best uses: low-heat cooking

Sesame oil

  • Smoke point: 450F
  • Best uses: dressing, finishing

Tallow (beef fat)

  • Smoke point: 400F
  • Best uses: high-heat cooking

Walnut oil

  • Smoke point: 400F
  • Best uses: dressing, finishing

Sugar can cause gastric bloating, spike blood glucose, vascular inflammation, and a surge of insulin, but this can be combatted with exercise, bitter melon, Ceylon cinnamon, or apple cider vinegar. Bad fats get incorporated into your cell membranes and there is no way to undo that damage.

Here is a list of “health” foods that may contain these rancid oils:

  • Pasteurized dairy products, such as commercially produced milk, cheese, butter, and organic yogurts
  • Organic packaged pasta and rice meals
  • Trail mix blends
  • Organic nut spreads, such as almond butter, cashew butter, and peanut butter
  • Store bought bags of peanuts, almonds, cashews, and other nuts
  • Baking chocolate and semisweet chocolate often marked as organic and non-GMO
  • Many store-bought sauces
  • Gluten-free or organic cereal bars, granola bars, and many protein bars
  • Most salad dressings
  • Many non-GMO vegetable chips, sweet potato chips, and coconut chips
  • Gluten-free and/or organic packaged pretzels, cookies, rice crackers, and multigrain crackers
  • Fried eggs
  • Sautéed or stir-fried foods, including fish and leafy greens
  • Many dairy-free ice creams
  • Butter substitutes and spreadable fats like margarine
  • Premade packaged popcorn, especially cheddar flavored and caramel
  • Both dairy and nondairy coffee creamers
  • Frozen meals
  • Gluten-free and/or organic frozen pizzas

Consistent intake of these oils leads to chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is the body’s response to infection and tissue damage and is even important for muscle growth. Chronic inflammation can lead to many physiological problems, from obesity and muscle loss to atherosclerosis and arthritis. Processed oils like canola or vegetable oil are polyunsaturated fats, which are molecularly unstable and prone to cell destroying oxidation.

20g of glycine, spread out into 5g servings, and 2-5g of spirulina may lessen the damage caused by unstable seed oils.

Northern Europeans once relied on fatty fish, red meat, and fermented, full-fat dairy products for survival. Mediterraneans had some carbohydrates, like bread and pasta (processed properly), but coastal countries like Italy relied on fish, nuts, full-fat milk, and cheeses like pecorino or mozzarella, along with fasting and caloric restriction.

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are toxic molecules found on the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. LPS are considered endotoxins. When blood endotoxin levels get too high, they cause metabolic endotoxemia, a condition associated with cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, type 2 diabetes, lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, and stroke. Which is more at risk with a high-fat diet. Problems occur when you consume high-fat diets alongside high-carbohydrates. They raise the levels of ROS and inflammatory cytokines, as well as increase the permeability of the gut. Allowing LPS through.


Rich in protein, good fatty acids, minerals, fiber, vitamin E, and B. Lower risk of coronary artery disease and lower mortality in individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Pistachios are rich in beta-carotene and lutein. They have been shown to assist the microbiome, balance blood sugar when eaten with a high carb meal, and reduce oxidative stress and improve cholesterol levels.
  • Brazil nuts contain the most selenium and 2 per day may raise selenium levels as much as a 100mcg selenium tablet.
  • Walnuts are rich in short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) and may improve blood cholesterol levels.
  • Almonds reduce hunger and maintain constant blood sugar levels. They may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation when eaten with a high carb meal. Also lower the risk of coronary artery disease.
  • Pecan nuts improve the antioxidant capacity of the body and inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
  • Macadamia nuts have the highest fat content, mostly consisting of monounsaturated fatty acids. They have properties that lower oxidative stress, inflammation, and cholesterol.

Approximately 2% of the population has a nut allergy. Mothers who eat nuts during pregnancy are less likely to have children with a nut allergy.

Nuts contain relatively high levels of antinutrients and may cause hypersensitivity and inhibit the absorption of minerals. Soaking and sprouting reduce these compounds and taking 50mg of vitamin C concurrently prevents the negative effects of inhibiting iron absorption. If bought from the supermarket, get vacuum-packed and sunlight protected nuts.


  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Almond
  • Pistachios
  • Pecan nuts
  • Cashew nuts


  • Peanuts (legumes; rich in antinutrients and highly allergenic)
  • Hazelnuts (readily cause allergy)
  • Roasted, rancid, salted, and coated nuts


Nutrient dense but rich in antinutrients. Therefore, must be soaked and sprouted.

  • Linseeds counterbalance the spike in blood sugar after a meal. They may alleviate constipation.
  • Chia seeds resemble linseeds in nutritional content. They are rich in manganese, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Shelled hemp seeds are a good source of protein and magnesium.

May have therapeutic value:

  • Pine nuts (increase feeling of satiety)
  • Grapefruit seeds (oil may have antimicrobial properties)
  • Milk thistle seeds (liver detoxifying and fat-reducing)
  • Pomegranate seeds (oxidative stress reducing and nerve cell protecting effect)
  • Cumin seeds (antibacterial)


  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds

Soaking and sprouting

  • Pecan: Soak overnight
  • Cashew: Soak 2hr
  • Almond: Soak overnight, sprout 1-2 days
  • Walnut: Soak 4hr
  • Brazil nut: do not soak
  • Chickpea: Soak overnight, sprout 2-3 days
  • Lentils: Soak overnight, sprout 2-3 days
  • Mung bean: Soak 1 day, sprout 2 days
  • Wheat: Soak overnight, sprout 1-2 days
  • Oats: Soak overnight, sprout 1-3 days
  • Spelt + Rye: Soak overnight, sprout 2-3 days
  • Barley: Soak overnight, sprout 2 days
  • Buckwheat: Soak 15min, sprout 1-3 days
  • Quinoa: Soak overnight, sprout 1 day
  • Millet: Soak overnight, sprout 1 day
  • Rice: Soak overnight, sprout 3-5 days
  • Corn: Soak overnight, sprout 2-3 days
  • Pepita: Soak overnight, sprout 1 day
  • Hemp seed: Do not soak, sprout 2-5 days
  • Sunflower seed: Soak overnight, sprout 1-2 days
  • Flax seed: Soak overnight
  • Alfalfa: Soak overnight, sprout 4-6 days
  • Sesame seed: Soak overnight, sprout 1 day
  • Pine nut: Do not soak
  • Pistachio: Do not soak
  • Macadamia: Do not soak


Rich in antinutrients to protect their seeds. These include trypsin inhibitors, lectins (particularly in soybeans), saponins, and glycosides. Soaking reduces their level of galactan – which causes some people flatulence. Eating beans that have been soaked but not cooked typically causes gastrointestinal symptoms.

Legumes are similar to animal protein, although they lack sulfur-containing amino acids. Population-based epidemiological studies have yielded results of legumes reducing risk of intestinal cancer. Possibly due to isoflavones, lignans, and various antioxidants in the intestine. Another finding is that legumes (except soybeans) have shown an effect of reducing silent inflammation (lowers CRP). May also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Many bean lectins, particularly phytohemagglutinin (PHA), are not completely destroyed after soaking and cooking and cause intestinal damage and silent inflammation. The soybean lectin (SBA) and peanut lectin (PNA) also permeate the intestinal wall and may be a predisposing factor for atherosclerosis (animal studies).

Reasons to avoid soy products:

  • Rich in phytates that inhibit the absorption of nutrients in the intestine
  • Trypsin inhibitors in soy may impair the absorption of proteins
  • Phytoestrogens in soy may interfere with normal female hormonal activity, impair thyroid function, cause infertility in men, and promote breast cancer in women
  • Soy and saponins of soy protein may damage the intestine and increase permeability to various other toxins, saponins may also cause the hemolysis of RBCs
  • As much as 94% of American soy and more than half of the world’s is GMO

Prepare beans/lentils as follows:

  • Soak overnight (12 hours minimum) and add baking soda to the water to boost lectin removal
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Cook in boiling water for a minimum of 30 minutes (some require 90 minutes)

Other useful methods:

  • Sprouting (e.g. mung bean sprouts) reduces lectins and saponins
  • Fermenting (e.g. tempeh from soy). However, does not remove all lectins


  • Lentils (beluga and red)
  • Mung beans, soaked and sprouted
  • Fermented tempeh and natto (non-GMO)
  • Green peas and broad beans, boiled and peeled


  • Soybeans and tofu
  • Beans (particularly red kidney beans)
  • Peanuts
  • Soy protein and other soy products


140,000 fungus species in the world and only 10% have been scientifically studied.

Generally speaking, fungi are rich in fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and selenium, antioxidants, and protein. Many contain an amino acid called l-ergothioneine, which has been found to protect cells and DNA from damage. It stimulates the breakdown of sugar and imitates carnitine in its ability to carry fat to cell mitochondria. Many fungi also contain compounds that have been shown to be antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and cancer destroying.

The medicinal properties of fungi are usually polysaccharides or triterpenes. Glycoproteins, sterols, and certain metabolic products (such as antibiotics) are also utilized.

The most well-known medicinal fungi are shiitake, lingzi, turkey tail, caterpillar fungus, hen-of-the-woods, agaricus blazei, matsutake, lion’s mane, and chaga mushrooms.

Pick from an unpolluted site as they can collect heavy metals and radioactive cesium. Boil twice and rinse in cold water after identifying that it isn’t deadly or toxic. If you can’t identify it, leave it.


  • Double extracted (water and alcohol extract) medicinal mushroom powders and tinctures
  • Using mushrooms with medicinal properties in cooking
  • Shiitake and oyster mushrooms for stews and soups
  • Chaga tea in soup, rice cooking water and as a coffee base
  • Extract powders mixed with chocolate, coffee, tea, or smoothies
  • Yellowfoot
  • Golden chanterelle (rich in vitamin D2)
  • Black chanterelle (rich in nutrients)
  • Penny bun (rich in selenium, protein, and fibers)
  • Russula mushrooms (yellow swamp russula, russula decolorans, russula paludosa, darkening brittlegill, crab brittlegill, bare-toothed russula)
  • Oyster mushrooms (improve fat metabolism and immunity)
  • Ceps (orange birch bolete, bay bolete, slippery jack, penny bun, velvet bolete)
  • Milkcaps (northern bearded milkcap, weeping milkcap, red hot milkcap, orange milkcap, candy cap, common lactarius, false saffron milkcap, ugly milkcap, wooly milkcap, lactarius lignyotus)
  • Sheep polypore, terracotta hedgehog, sheathed woodtuft, morel, gypsy mushroom, slimy spike-cap, pestle puffball, scaly tooth


  • Excessive consumption of fungi (many edible mushrooms such as the yellow knight, penny bun, russula, chanterelle, and sheep polypore strain the kidneys and liver)
  • Fungi that irritate the digestive tract when uncooked (always cook orange birch bolete, hooney fungi, shiitake, shaggy parasol, clouded agaric, and tangy milkcaps, and russulas)
  • Poisonous fungi
  • Consuming the common inkcap or club-footed clitocybe with alcohol
  • Fungi that have collected a lot of heavy metals or radioactive cesium

Dry mushrooms in sunlight to multiply vitamin D content. 100g of shiitakes placed in the sun for 12 hours may contain an additional 1000micrograms of vitamin D2.


Chlorinated compounds form as chlorine and organic matter react with it. Demographic studies have indicated that long-term use of drinking water made from surface water through chlorination may increase risk of cancer. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Official guidelines recommend a minimum of 1-1.5 liters per day, preferably 2-3 liters. This increases with rising temperature. The elderly should drink more fluids due to the impaired abilities of their kidneys to filter urine.

Store water in dark glass bottles and avoid BPA or phthalates containing bottles. They may have a harmful effect on the endocrine system.


  • Naturally flowing spring water (microbiologically tested)
  • Liquid contained in plants (freshly squeezed juice, sap, coconut water)
  • Drilled well water and well water
  • Purified tap water (separate filtering device or filter attached to tap)
  • Reverse osmosis (RO), activated carbon filtering, ion exchange
  • High quality spring water or mineral water sold in glass bottles


  • Water packaged in plastic bottles
  • Vitamin-enriched water
  • Carbonated water
  • Tap water


The most actively traded commodity. Due to this, large quantities of various pesticides are used to maximize production. According to a comprehensive meta-analysis, coffee may extend the life span, lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and prevent premature death from these illnesses. Health effects are most likely due to the antioxidants (such as polyphenols). More than 1000 antioxidant compounds have been found in coffee, even more in green tea and cocoa.

The caffeine effects are due to genetic makeup. The CYP1A2 gene affects the body’s ability to remove caffeine from the system, and the VDR gene is associated with caffeine’s negative effects on bone health.

Risk factors are pesticides and mycotoxins. Water washing significantly reduces the level of mycotoxins and when washed properly, the ochratoxin A (OTA) level of green coffee beans is reduced by 90%. In addition to this, roasting destroys 69-96% of the remaining OTA.

Long-term consumption of caffeine in the form of coffee is associated with cognitive enhancements, reduced risk for type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Caffeine travels to the brain and blocks a neurotransmitter called adenosine. As a result, norepinephrine and dopamine actually increase, which hastens the firing rate of neurons.

Coffee beans have a lot of antioxidants, called quinines, that fight disease and clean the body. After the roasting process, they become even more potent. They also contain naturally a lot of magnesium.

For the wide majority of people, it’s safe. However, additional side-effects can be insomnia, upset stomach, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. In my opinion, caffeine should be used only in certain situations when you actually need a boost. It’s just that – a performance-enhancing stimulant that gives us the right amount of energy for whatever the task might be.

Between the hours of 8-9 AM, our cortisol levels are at their peak. It’s the fight or flight hormone, that rises in the morning so we’d have increased alertness and focus. We’re already supposed to be fully alert and energized after waking up. So, if we simultaneously drink coffee, we’re wasting the potential benefits of caffeine and offsetting the circadian rhythm.

The best time to drink coffee is between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM. Cortisol peaks in the early morning, but also fluctuates during the day. Other times it rises are 12 PM – 1 PM and 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM, so avoid coffee at those hours as well.

The half-life of caffeine is about 5.7 hours, which means that if you drink coffee at 12 PM, then 50% of it will still be in your system at 6PM. According to the circadian rhythm, the best time to go to bed is at about 9-11 PM. You should be sound asleep before midnight because that’s when the most growth hormone gets released. Ingesting caffeine in the evening will definitely keep you up at night. That’s why you should stop drinking coffee after 2-4 PM in the afternoon.

Our metabolism differs between individuals and we have our own unique type, which makes us metabolize nutrients at different speeds.

  • The fast oxidizer is someone who digests food very quickly and converts it into energy rapidly. They need to focus on eating heavier meals with more fat and protein that would keep them satiated. By the same token, they will also absorb caffeine that much faster and it will go through their system almost at an instant.
  • If you’re a slow oxidizer, then you need more time to convert food into energy. Because of that, you require more carbohydrates, rather than protein and fat. Getting the benefits of coffee will also be less rapid.

Doses of 600 mg are often comparable to the effects of modafinil, which is a top-notch nootropic and cognitive enhancer. It’s a smart drug but there are no reported advantages over large amounts of caffeine. To avoid any unwanted side-effects, use filtered coffee. Darker roasts have less caffeine in them, due to the roasting process.

It may increase our attention span, the speed at which we work, prevent us from getting sidetracked, and may even benefit recall, but it’s less likely to improve more complex cognitive functions. Like with modafinil, you only get better at what you’re already good at. You can’t expand upon your existing cognitive limitations. The actual benefit you get is just more energy and alertness. In fact, it may actually harm tasks of higher executive functioning, such as creativity or problem solving, because large doses of caffeine may cause shivers and too much excitement.

Use caffeine to rush through the repetitive activities that require a lot of micro-management and aren’t too difficult.

Once you take your first sip of the day, you can immediately feel your energy levels rising. This happens because your body will release more adrenaline and dopamine. What ensues is lipolysis, which is the conversion of stored body fat into energy. However, the increased use of free fatty acids is reported to happen only in low carb/high fat diets. Caffeine may be less useful on a high carb diet.

At the same time, coffee will still increase your metabolic rate and has other physical performance-enhancing effects. Caffeine has a positive impact on muscular contraction and fatigue, which makes it a great tool for training.

When it comes to performance, then drinking a larger dose of caffeine 15-30 minutes earlier will yield some great results. Sipping on some beverage intra-workout is also viable. Even more, post-workout caffeine can also help to refuel muscles and increase fat burning.

Consuming it daily will increase our body’s tolerance to it, which eventually leads to the receptors in our brain to becoming resistant to coffee. After some time, it stops working and we need a lot more to get the same effect.

  • To prevent that from happening, you have to habitually cycle off caffeine. For at least 1 week of the month, you should allow your body’s receptors to reset and become sensitive again. Another option would be to drink coffee only on days where you most need it, say during a hard workout or while doing repetitive tasks. This doesn’t mean you can’t drink coffee every day. Simply swap out the caffeinated version with decaf. The taste is the same and you can get almost all of the benefits. If not the increased energy, then at least you’ll still use it as an antioxidant and a mood enhancer.

There are some benefits to consuming caffeine with glucose, which may improve cognition not seen with either alone. Additionally, grapefruit juice can keep caffeine levels in the bloodstream for longer.

  • If you’re a fast oxidizer, then adding sugar will only hasten your downfall. You may get an immediate boost, but that short high will be followed by a steep low. To not crash and burn, you can add fat to the mix.
  • Adding butter to your cup of joe will definitely have some positive effects. It decreases the rate of absorption, gives you long-lasting energy, keeps you satiated for hours and tastes incredible.
  • Coffee itself boosts autophagy in some amounts but not if you over-do it or add too many other ingredients. The only thing allowed would be medicinal mushroom powders like chaga, reishi, or lion’s mane but not over 1 tsp. If you have some adrenal issues or experience too much cortisol in the morning, then it’s not recommended to drink coffee because it may simply overshoot the stress hormones. To not become even more stressed out and catabolic you should have some tea instead.


  • Organic or pesticide-free, pure coffee
  • Single origin
  • Water washed
  • Grown at high altitudes
  • Avoid instant, blends of several coffee bean varieties, and grown near sea level
  • Time coffee consumption at a sensible part of the day
  • Purchase freshly roasted coffee
  • Grind the beans yourself immediately before use
  • Use a metal filter, avoid paper filters processed with chemicals
  • Only purchase coffee for a maximum of two weeks’ consumption at a time
  • Always store coffee in an airtight container
  • Use kitchen scales to measure the ratio of coffee to water
  • Do not over brew
  • Do not add sugar, milk, or cream

Biohacker’s coffee:

  • 16g high quality coffee beans (grown in volcanic soil at high altitude, Central American, water washed, organic)
  • 250ml nearly boiling spring water or filtered tap water (91C)
  • 1 tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 tbsp caprylic acid, MCT oil or cold pressed coconut oil
  • Add flavor with a pinch of genuine vanilla, Ceylon cinnamon and/or chaga extract


Tea quality depends on processing methods and age of the leaves. The most valued leaves are new leaves growing near the blooms. Tea leaves are rich in polyphenols such as flavonoids, theanine, theophylline, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and other catechins. All teas contain 30-90mg of caffeine per cup depending on the variety and the preparation method.

Green tea: 30-40% of water-soluble polyphenols, whereas black tea only contains 3-10%. Green tea is suitable for those with caffeine sensitivity due to high theanine content. A comprehensive meta-analysis found it lowers blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL, levels of fasting glucose and long-term glucose. Also shown to slow memory deterioration. 5-7 cups a day for optimal benefits.

Yerba mate: Rich in antioxidants such as quercetin, vitamins B and C and magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Also, several stimulating xanthines that are also present in coffee (caffeine), tea (theophylline) and cocoa (theobromine). May improve mood, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce inflammation. Yerba mate has been shown to increase glucagon-like peptide one. It acts as an appetite suppressant and stimulate the brain. It also contains adequate levels of electrolytes. Caffeine usually acts as a diuretic and take out electrolytes. GLP1 can also help to regulate blood sugar.

Pu-erh tea: Black tea from the Yunnan province in China. Rich on polysaccharides, polyphenols, and statins. Slightly less caffeine than coffee.

Oolong tea: Rich in antioxidants such as various catechins and polyphenols. Shown to improve blood lipid values and has a strong effect on the GABA-A receptors (calming neurotransmitters.

White tea: Slightly more caffeine and equal amounts of antioxidants to green tea. May reduce the risk of stroke. In animal studies it was shown to prevent atherosclerosis. Used topically, white and green tea may protect the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.


  • Pu-erh tea after a high fat meal (85-95C, 12s-2min)
  • Green tea with meals (60-80C, 1-2min)
  • Sencha, matcha, gyokuro
  • Oolong tea when you need to concentrate (80-85C, 2-3min)
  • White tea (60-70C, 3-5min)
  • Yerba mate, when working (60-70C, 3-5min)
  • Caffeine free herbal tea in the evening


  • Bagged teas
  • Perpared ice teas
  • Black tea
  • Using milk with tea (inhibits health benefits of flavonoids)


Associated with 60 different illnesses. Alcohol dependency, poisoning, psychosis, liver diseases, and pancreatitis. Also, neurological and psychological illnesses, hormonal and nutritional disorders, degeneration of the heart muscle, arrhythmia, cancer and blood diseases. As many as 6% of deaths are caused by alcohol. The single-most factor of death in 15-64yo men, ahead of coronary artery disease.

Based on a comprehensive demographic study report, the moderate use of alcohol (2 units for men and 1 for women) in good company may reduce the risk of dementia and impairment of cognitive functions. Heavy use (3-5 units per day) increased risk of dementia and impaired functions.

Hangover Cure:

  • 1 1/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Couple of broccoli buds
  • 300mg red ginseng
  • 2-3cm piece of ginger
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp of chlorella
  • Sea salt and fenugreek, to taste
  • Blended


  • Abstinence or small amounts in good company
  • Homemade tinctures
  • Homemade herbal beer and alcoholic cider
  • Clear liquor packaged in glass bottles (potato based is preferable to grain based)
    • Russian Standard Imperia
    • Russian Standard Platinum
  • Gin, tequila, and whiskey
  • Champagne
  • Biodynamic red wines (low tannin, no added sulfites)
  • Natural wines
  • Classic herbal beers
  • Sprite or equivalent lemon and lime mixer (accelerates the acetaldehyde breakdown in the system)
  • Ethanol (C2H6O)->Acetaldehyde (C2H4O)->Acetic acid (C2H4O2)->Water & CO2

Full On Alcohol Damage Prevention:

Support natural glutathione levels, removing toxic substances, and restoring nutrients depleted by alcohol.

Before use:

  • Eat meat (particularly turkey) with turmeric and egg yolks (amino acids)
  • 5-10g chlorella
  • Vitamin B1 and alpha lipoic acid
  • 100mg glutathione (preferably in a liposomal form)
  • Milk thistle (silymarin) and fenugreek


  • 500mg vitamin C and 200mg N-acetylcysteine (NAC) before each drink
  • 300mg ginseng (accelerates the exit of acetaldehyde from the system)
  • A glass of water with each drink


  • Vitamin B complex
  • Electrolytes (unrefined sea salt and coconut water)
  • Broccoli (sulforaphane eliminates toxic acetaldehyde)
  • Fresh ginger (2-3cm prevents nausea)

Before bed:

  • 1-2g activated charcoal (binds the toxins formed)

Regulating Blood Sugar

Maintaining a stable level of blood sugar by refraining from overeating, continuous snacking, and frequent meals is key to productivity and clarity of mind. The activation of hunger signals is not necessarily preceded by a hypoglycemic blood sugar level.

When astrocytes and microglia are frequently exposed to high amounts of sugar and glucose fluctuations, it can cause chronic neuroinflammation, neuronal loss, and progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A plant based, mildly ketogenic diet may help to alleviate cognitive dysfunction. Mary Newport – Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones, improved her husband’s Alzheimer’s via MCTs. One of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s is a reduction in cerebral glucose metabolism.

A high-carbohydrate diet has more than 45% of calories coming from carbs. A low-carb diet needs to include less than 130g of carbs per day (less than 26% of a typical 2000-calorie-per-day diet). Active peoples’ needs greatly vary. They require adequate carbohydrates to fuel their liver and muscle glycogen stores, and to maintain joint health. They should consume carbs before, during, or after a workout. A post-carb serotonin release can help with sleep. Get at least 20-30g of carbs from dietary sources.

Hormones involved in blood sugar regulation


  • Impact on blood sugar: Lowers
  • Secreted by: Pancreatic beta cells
  • Metabolic effect: Increases glucose absorption and storage (glycogen or fatty acids). Increases the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. Inhibits the breakdown of proteins and fatty acids


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Pancreatic alpha cells
  • Metabolic effect: Promotes the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Promotes gluconeogenesis


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Pancreatic delta cells
  • Metabolic effect: Inhibits the local release of glucagon from alpha cells. Inhibits the secretion of insulin and pituitary hormones


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Adrenal cortex
  • Metabolic effect: Promotes gluconeogenesis. Acts as an insulin antagonist (receptor blocker)


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Adrenal medulla
  • Metabolic effect: Promotes the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Promotes the release of fatty acids from fat cells


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Thyroid
  • Metabolic effect: Promotes breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Increases sugar absorption from the small intestine


  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Anterior pituitary gland
  • Metabolic effect: Increases the release of cortisol. Promotes the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue


  • Impact on blood sugar: Lowers
  • Secreted by: Pancreatic beta cells
  • Metabolic effect: Curbs the emptying of the stomach. Inhibits spikes in blood sugar.

Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1):

  • Impact on blood sugar: Lowers
  • Secreted by: L-cells in the small intestine
  • Metabolic effect: Stimulates insulin secretion. Inhibits glucagon secretion. Decreases appetite

Gastric inhibitory peptide (GIP):

  • Impact on blood sugar: Lowers
  • Secreted by: K cells in the small intestine
  • Metabolic effect: Promotes insulin secretion. Inhibits stomach acid secretion

Growth hormone:

  • Impact on blood sugar: Raises
  • Secreted by: Anterior pituitary gland
  • Metabolic effect: Acts as an insulin antagonist (receptor blocker)


Glucose is broken down into pyruvate or lactate. Glycolysis also regulates secretion of insulin and is linked to glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in the pancreatic beta cells. In such cases, there is an increased secretion of glucokinase enzyme to break glucose down into glucose-6-phosphate. Due to being linked to blood glucose levels and insulin secretion, glucokinase is considered the main blood sugar level sensor.


Glucose is made from lactic acid, glycerol, alanine, and glutamine. Activated usually when the diet is low in carbohydrates. Stabilizes blood sugars when low. It primarily takes place in the liver (alanine) and the renal capsule (glutamine) and, according to the latest studies, the intestine (particularly small intestine).

Glycemic Index and Load

A high glycemic load is associated with a higher level of silent inflammation. Conversely, the Mediterranean diet with a low glycemic load is quite effective at reducing obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

In Western foods, cinnamon is used to lower blood sugar levels in high glycemic foods. In China, medicinal fungi and herbs are used. In Ayurvedic medicine of India incorporates several herbs to balance blood sugar too. Cinnamon seems to help because of its high chromium content as well as the effects of polyphenols and volatile polymers (1-6g). Remember the toxic coumarin content in cinnamon and CYP2A6 genetic variance though.

Foods and Spices that Help Balance Blood Sugar:

  • Cinnamon
  • Bilberry
  • Garlic
  • Sour cherry
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Coffee
  • Chia
  • Caraway
  • Ginger
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Lemon
  • Turmeric
  • Cacao

Supplements that Help Balance Blood Sugar:

  • Chromium
  • Vitamin D
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Reishi
  • Maitake
  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps
  • Psyllium
  • MCT oil
  • Gymnema sylvestre
  • Bitter melon
  • Prickly pear cactus
  • Fenugreek
  • Purslane
  • Banaba leaf
  • Milk thistle
  • Resveratrol
  • Magnesium
  • Panax ginseng
  • Berberine
  • Green tea
  • Coriander
  • Vanadyl sulfate
  • L-carnitine


Metformin involves changes to mitochondrial action in the liver. This is how it depletes blood glucose. It does this through the AMPK pathway and increases insulin sensitivity. It can make people hypoglycemic so should be approached with caution.


Its actions mimic metformin. It also works to activate the AMPK pathway and inhibits a protein tyrosine phosphate 1B pathway. Associated with fasting and low glucose. The doses on the bottle are quite high. Some may have their blood sugar dropped so much they may go hypoglycemic.

Also lowers cholesterol by acting on the liver, which is involved in cholesterol metabolism.

Direct contact of berberine on canker sores eliminated them quickly.


Changes in blood sugar regulation, caused by coffee, are most probably due to caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee has not been found to cause a similar swing in blood sugar levels. Individuals with a point mutation in the CYP1A2 gene (variant 164A>C) break down caffeine significantly slower. This is also linked to the blood sugar swings as well as higher levels of fasting blood sugar, particularly in individuals with high blood pressure.


Blood sugar levels fall steadily when fasting during waking hours. Conversely, blood sugar levels usually remain constant during sleep. This is due to levels rising about 20% at the beginning of the sleep cycle. During NREM, the glucose metabolism decreases by 11%. It increases during REM and when awake.

  • Being deprived of sleep (4 hours per night) for as little as one week impairs the use of glucose for energy and raises fasting blood sugar. It is also a predisposing factor for sugar metabolism disorders (pre-diabetes). According to a study, individuals who sleep less than 6.5 hours per night have up to 40% lower insulin sensitivity.
  • Sleep deprivation also affects the secretion of leptin and ghrelin. Two days of 4 hours of sleep increased ghrelin by 28% and decreased leptin by 18% in young men.
  • Melatonin receptors in the pancreas cause insulin production to decrease overnight while maintaining the level of blood sugar. Night-time eating is associated with increased risk of diabetes. Especially those with the GG genotype of the MTNR1B gene.

The Order You Eat Foods Matters: Managing Your Blood Glucose & Glucagon

When you are hungry you secrete glucagon, pulling stores of glycogen out of liver and muscles, and then body fat.

If you had a meal of rice, fish, and vegetables all at once, you’ll have a moderately fast increase in glucose. If you eat the rice first it will spike the glucose and increase the desire to eat more. It also triggers the release of dopamine. If you ate the fibrous vegetables first you would blunt the release of glucose that the rice would cause.

So, if you want a steep increase and want to eat more, eat the carbs first. If you’re full and still want more it’s probably because your blood glucose levels have gone up a lot.

Movement, Exercise & GLUT-4

Blood glucose levels can be modulated by movement. GLUT-4 shuttles glucose into muscle cells. If you take a 30-minute walk after a meal you can blunt the glucose levels. If you exercise before that can be beneficial.

Keeping Blood Sugar Stable with Specific Exercises, The Power of Insulin Sensitivity

Some people can go long periods of time without eating and have stable blood sugar. Others can get very hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic. Zone 2 exercise for 30-60 minutes 3-4 x per week can help to keep blood glucose managed. HIIT and weight training can stimulate molecules that promote repackaging of glucose.

Foods That Promote mTOR and Autophagy

  • High mTOR (HiTOR) – stimulates mTOR and insulin significantly
  • Moderate mTOR (ModTOR) – stimulates mTOR but not a lot of insulin
  • Low mTOR (LowTOR) – promotes anabolism without significant mTOR
  • Neutral mTOR (nTOR) – doesn’t stimulate mTOR or anabolism
  • Low Autophagy (LowATG) – supports the activation of autophagy and glucagon
  • High Autophagy (HiATG) – activates autophagy and lowers insulin significantly

ATG refers to autophagy-related genes and the listed foods will stimulate pathways related to autophagy activation.

High mTOR (HiTOR) Foods

The best scenario is once or twice a week after a fasted resistance training combined with carb refeeds. Think of spiking insulin quite high for higher anabolism but allowing it to drop again within the next few hours.

Here are the top 5 HiTOR foods:

  1. Whey Protein + Carbs – Whey protein itself already is a super concentrated form of very bioavailable protein that triggers MPS quite a lot. However, combining protein with carbs raises insulin exponentially higher than protein alone. This will also activate mTOR a lot more. That makes all the amino acids you consume with carbs much more anabolic than if taken by themselves. Leucine, which is the main amino acid that stimulates MPS doesn’t spike insulin as much if taken alone.
  2. Rice Protein + Carbs – Rice protein is another highly bioavailable protein that’s plant-based. There’s not a significant difference between whey and rice in terms of MPS but rice protein may be less inflammatory and with fewer allergens. Compared to whey, rice protein is better for digestion and keeping IGF-1 lower but it may not be that effective for rapid MPS. What matters more is the overall MPS stimulation of the entire feeding window.
  3. Egg Whites + Carbs – Egg whites are pure protein with even a bit of carbs. They’re not that nutrient dense because all the nutrition is in the yolk. Egg whites are just a source of extra protein some bodybuilders use to keep their fat intake low. In fact, on a ketogenic diet, you’d want to do the opposite and eat just the yolks because egg whites may be allergenic. Nevertheless, if you were to consume egg whites alone with not a lot of fat, you’d spike your insulin quite high. Add some carbs into the mix and it’ll go even higher.
  4. Chicken Breast/White Fish + Carbs – Chicken breast or white fish are also very lean and mostly protein. The stereotypical chicken and rice meal of bodybuilders holds true in the sense that it’ll spike insulin and trigger MPS. If the carbs are low fiber and high glucose, such as white rice, white potatoes, or pasta, then it’ll be even more effective.
  5. Protein Powder + Fruit – Any protein powder that’s low fat, low fiber, high protein and rich in leucine will spike mTOR and MPS. Adding ripe fruit that doesn’t have much fiber, such as bananas, pineapples, mangos, dates, or honey will raise insulin in that context as well. That’s why you don’t want to be eating fruit on a regular basis. It’s not ideal for ketosis or your liver health as it can lead to fatty liver disease and promote insulin resistance.

Moderate mTOR (ModTOR) Foods

For optimal mTOR sensitivity, you’d want to eat ModTOR foods consistently but ideally limit them only to when you’re working out.

Here are the top 5 ModTOR foods:

  1. Red Meat – Meat is a potent stimulator of mTOR and MPS. However, meat by itself in the context of a low carb diet has quite a low insulin to glucagon ratio, thus it’s not that anabolic. Red meat is also one of the best sources for most of the essential nutrients you need like protein, fat, B vitamins, iron, etc. For maximum nutrient density, you’d want to eat some organ meats, like liver, heart, kidneys, and the tendons rich in bone marrow. Other great options are beef, pork belly, steak, unprocessed bacon. Ideally, you want to get grass-fed meat or wild game for the better omega-6 to omega-3 balance. Avoid sausages with extra sugar and wheat.
  2. Whole Eggs –Eggs have all the amino acids you need and they’re particularly rich in leucine as well. You can get about 550 mg of leucine from a single egg and it takes 2-3 grams of leucine to trigger MPS. So, the standard 4-5 egg breakfast is quite good for muscle building. Although for optimal longevity you’d want to postpone that breakfast. The yolk is where most of the nutrition is at so definitely savor them. Cholesterol is incredibly good for building muscle. When cooking, don’t over-fry eggs or hard-boil them as it’ll damage the nutrients and may oxidize the cholesterol.
  3. Poultry – Chicken, turkey, and other types of poultry are quite rich in protein. Industrial chicken tends to be quite high in omega-6s and low in other nutrients. Turkey is highest in tryptophan, which can help with serotonin production and thus make you more relaxed. That’s why eating poultry may help you to sleep. Chicken skin and the drumsticks are rich in glycine, which improves skin health and has anti-aging effects.
  4. Oily Fish – Salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, flounder, herring, and anchovies are incredible sources of healthy omega-3s, especially DHA and EPA. They’re great for cardiovascular health but they also promote muscle growth because of their relatively high protein content. The anti-inflammatory effects will also increase your performance by lowering inflammation, accelerating recovery, and promoting cellular health.
  5. Cheese and Dairy – Milk is one of the most anabolic foods there is, which is why mammals are breast-fed their mother’s milk during the first periods of development. The high fat and protein content is supposed to jump-board the infant’s growth and build up the essential parts of the body. However, dairy also raises IGF-1 quite a lot, which will increase inflammation, insulin, skin issues, and accelerates aging. That’s why dairy isn’t the best thing to consume on a habitual basis. Fermented kefir and cheeses are fine but they’re still not something to eat all the time. Compared to something like meat, dairy isn’t going to help you build that much muscle but it’ll still stimulate the heck out of mTOR and IGF-1, which will lead to a regretful trade-off in longevity.

Low mTOR (LowTOR) Foods

Think of LowTOR foods as something you’d consume on a rest day as to get the essential nutrients and maintain lean tissue.

Here are the top 5 LowTOR foods:

  1. Starches– Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, carrots, and beetroot are quite high in carbs and they raise insulin. Of course, the insulin response to white potatoes is a lot different from raw carrots but they’re still favoring the insulin to glucagon ratio towards higher blood sugar. It’s not just meat or protein that stimulates mTOR – insulin offsets this entire cascade in the first place, which is why your rate of anabolic growth will be much lower if you were to eat protein on a low carb diet. Nevertheless, carbs alone, like a rice bowl with vegetables alone, won’t be that mTOR stimulating because they’re low in amino acids. In that situation, it’s not worth it to be eating those carbs either because even though they’ll raise insulin, they won’t be that effective for muscle growth. You would’ve built more muscle and maintained better insulin sensitivity by simply eating a LCHF meal with protein.
  2. Seafood and Algae – In addition to fish, oysters, shellfish, crabs, lobsters are also quite high in protein. Despite that, they have much more omega-3s and other fats which will lower the mTOR stimulating effect. Also, it’s somewhat difficult to over-eat on crab or oysters because of their limited availability and high satiety. Algae, like chlorella and spirulina, are great plant-based sources of omega-3s and DHA. Their relatively okay protein content can also help with muscle growth but I wouldn’t make my main source of protein algae. Seafood and algae are great for rest days when you want to maintain lower mTOR.
  3. Beans and Legumes – Azuki beans, kidney beans, lentils, legumes etc. have quite a good amount of plant-based protein but they’re also high in fiber, which lowers their insulin response. The Blue Zones are known to eat beans and legumes. However, the longevity effect doesn’t come from the beans themselves but because of the overall hormetic lifestyle and caloric restriction. Also, beans are full of phytonutrients and lectins – way too much to eat them every day. You can get much better autophagy activating compounds from other foods that are lower in carbs, cause fewer digestive issues, and are tastier. Beans and legumes can be eaten sometimes on days you want to limit animal protein consumption and keep mTOR lower.
  4. Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds have some good protein that’s LowTOR but they also have some phytonutrients. It’s not ideal to eat a bunch of nuts every day because (1) they may cause hormonal issues, (2) they may be a potential allergen, (3) they may have become oxidized or exposed to mold, (4) they’re easy to overeat, and (5) their nutrient profile isn’t something you wouldn’t get from other high-quality foods like meat, butter, eggs, or even algae for that matter. A few servings of nuts on some days are acceptable.
  5. Butter and Animal Fats – Butter is also great for producing short chain fatty acids in the gut, which heals intestinal impermeability. Other animal fats like lard, tallow or goose fat are nTOR if you eat them by themselves or add to your low carb meal. However, excess calories even from fat may still raise insulin and stimulate mTOR because of the increased energy input. That’s why use these fats sparingly.

Although some of these foods are low mTOR, they can still stimulate protein synthesis as well as raise insulin. That’s why consuming these foods are very context dependent. For instance, potatoes with meat turns a LowTOR food into a HiTOR one because of how carbs and protein interact with each other. Likewise, you can still make yourself anabolic by overeating on fish or algae because of the excess protein intake.

mTOR Neutral (nTOR) Foods

They can help you to maintain lean muscle but they won’t make you build new ones alone.

Here are the top 5 nTOR foods:

  1. Olive Oil and Olives – Rich in polyphenols and healthy fats. However, you have to make sure that your olive oil isn’t rancid or oxidized. Use only dark bottled olive oil that hasn’t sat on the store shelf for god knows who long. Ideally, freshly pressed extra virgin.
  2. Coconut Oil and Coconuts – A good source of plant-based saturated fat that has some MCTs. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties as well so you can use it for oil pulling your teeth or cleaning the face. MCT oil has even been shown to stimulate Chaperone-mediated autophagy a little bit thanks to the elevation of ketones.
  3. Avocadoes and Avocado Oil – A low carb high-fat fruit with a lot of monounsaturated fatty acids. They can lower cholesterol and increase potassium intake more than bananas. The small amount of carbs in avocados is quite low which makes it quite neutral on the insulin/TOR scale. However, because of its small protein content, it should be thought of as an additive to your meals not the main source of calories.
  4. Green Leafy Vegetables – Fibrous vegetables and plants are low in carbs, full of polyphenols, high in fiber and other compounds that help with blood sugar. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and spinach won’t really raise mTOR but they can promote autophagy because of their small sulforaphane content.
  5. Fermented Foods – Sauerkraut, pickles, natto, miso, and kimchi are primarily plant-based but the live bacteria in them actually make these foods animal-based. Sauerkraut won’t affect mTOR or insulin but it can help you to build muscle by improving gut health.

Low Autophagy (LowATG) Foods

Foods that can activate AMPK and stimulate autophagy a little bit. They’re rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that will lower blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, and trigger a mild hormetic response.

Here are the top 5 LowATG foods:

  1. Coffee – Coffee induces autophagy and has benefits on cellular metabolism. It can also stabilize blood sugar, enhance fat oxidation, and protect against neurodegeneration, which makes it the perfect drink for fasting. However, too much caffeine will raise cortisol, which can promote inflammation and visceral fat formation around your belly.
  2. Green and Herbal Teas – Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol, stimulates hepatic autophagy. Other herbal teas can also promote with liver cleansing and generally induce a more autophagic state. Bergamot, black tea, chamomile, and ginger tea have polyphenols and other compounds that stimulate autophagy. For biggest effect consume them while fasting. Avoid commercial teas that may have added fruit, sugar, and other carbs.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar and suppresses insulin quite a lot. That will indirectly promote ketosis. Whether or not it’s going to stop autophagy depends on the type of ACV and when you’re taking it. On the Bragg’s ACV label, it says: “Contains the amazing Mother of Vinegar which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules.” Raw unfiltered mother contains proteins and bacteria which can technically inhibit autophagy if you take it in a fasted state. The filtered distilled version of ACV without the mother will be better to take while fasting. It’ll also lower appetite and kills off bad bacteria in the gut. Taking vinegar with the mother should be kept around meal time.
  4. Hormetic Herbs and Spices – Many plants and herbs stimulate autophagy. Curcumin induces autophagy by activating AMPK. Piperine which is a compound found in black pepper induces autophagy and it also boosts the bioavailability of curcumin, which makes it a double whammy! Other similar spices are ginger, cinnamon, ginseng, and capsaicin from cayenne pepper. Generally, you’d want to be eating a bunch of herbs like rosemary, thyme, arugula, coriander, parsley, and basil because they’re incredibly nutrient dense, virtually zero calories, and with many benefits on blood sugar and cellular turnover.
  5. Polyphenols and Flavonoids – Certain plant phytochemicals help to protect plants from danger. These same compounds give the plant its color and have a hormetic beneficial effect on the body. Darker pigments especially are indicative of a high polyphenol count and in folk medicine are said to promote liver health. 
  • 1. Phenolic acid includes coffee, teas, grapes, red wine, berries, kiwi, cherries, and plums. For optimal anabolic/catabolic value, you’d want to focus on coffee and tea and have some berries every once in a while. Funny enough, coffee is the No.1 source of polyphenols on the standard western diet.
  • 2. Stilbenes are associated with resveratrol. Resveratrol from red wine, cranberries, and grape skins is said to have life extension benefits thanks to the polyphenols. Resveratrol also stimulates autophagy and suppresses cancer growth. However, one must be wary of the carbs and alcohol of wine. I wouldn’t recommend eating grapes either unless you directly eat just the skins. Red wine’s resveratrol content is also quite small and is mainly a marketing hoax. If you want to get some real resveratrol, then consider getting it as a supplement instead.
  • 3. Lignans are found in legumes, cereal, grains, fruits, algae, flax seeds, and some vegetables. Clearly, it’s not ideal to be getting your polyphenols from bread or beans as you can get a lot more of them from other healthier foods.
  • 4. Low carb berries like bilberries, blueberries, elderberries, seabuckthorn, strawberries, dark cherries as well as dark chocolate and raw cacao are also high in polyphenols and antioxidants. Eat in moderation but not every day.

These LowATG foods can be consumed as part of your daily nutrition even during the limited eating window. Combining these polyphenols with mTOR stimulating foods won’t jeopardize the anabolic response that much and will be beneficial for longevity.

High Autophagy (HiATG) Foods

You should eat HiATG foods whenever you want to get into a deeper state of autophagy or liver cleansing. They can indirectly help your body trigger many of the other pathways related to longevity and cellular turnover.

Here are the top 5 HiATG foods:

  1. Berberine – Berberine (Berberis vulgaris) is a compound found in Barberry or other plants with many medicinal benefits, especially in regards to lowering insulin and blood sugar. Berberine has been shown to have a similar effect on lowering blood sugar as metformin, which makes it a great thing to consume after larger meals, and it also activates AMPK. It’s better to strategically time your berberine intake after eating HiTOR foods or having carb refeeds because it’ll help you to lower the blood sugar and go back into autophagy faster. If you’re eating Mod- or LowTOR, then it’s not advisable to have berberine all the time because it may drop the blood sugar too much. It’s still a poison and the hormetic effect is in the dose.
  2. Medicinal Mushrooms – Things like Chaga mushroom, Cordyceps, Reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane, and shitake are powerful adaptogens that strengthen the immune system. They activate the main antioxidant pathway Nrf2 as well as stimulate autophagy. My favorite way to drink coffee is to add a bit of Chaga and Reishi powder to it. It’s going to increase the therapeutic effect during the fasted state and prevents the over-stimulation of caffeine.
  3. Caloric Mimetics – Certain caloric restriction mimetics like Malabar tamarind, rapamycin, metformin, and berberine can activate autophagy. The most effective one is probably berberine but there are others such as bitter melon extract, fenugreek, adiponectin, ursolic acid, spermidine etc.
  4. Shilajit – This nutrient-dense mineral has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to energize the body. Modern medicine has shown shilajit to contain fulvic acid and humic acid, which helps with ATP production as well as fighting bacterial infections. It won’t stimulate autophagy directly but it can regenerate cells by improving oxygen flow and antioxidant activity.
  5. Astragalus – A lot of herbs and plants that belong to the Astragalus family have many medicinal benefits on longevity. Some examples include milkvetch, locoweed, goat’s thorn, licorice root, angelica, as well as curcumin, cinnamon, and ginger.

Most of the nutritional value and calories can come from meat, fish, eggs, and organ meats but the majority of longevity-boosting polyphenols and flavonoids will be derived from vegetables, berries, herbs, and spices.

Neurotransmitters & Brain Food

The balance between the main neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and acetylcholine) can be subjectively assessed using the indicative personality test developed by Eric R. Braverman. The levels of neurotransmitters (noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin) can be measured by testing for the metabolic byproducts in blood or urine. When you have a basic understanding of your neurotransmitter dominance you can start to integrate foods that make up the key components of the neurotransmitter you are most dominant in.

Amino acids as neurotransmitters


  • Function: Inhibitory, calming
  • Highest concentration: Seaweed, gelatin, egg, turkey, beef

Aspartic acid:

  • Function: Stimulatory
  • Highest concentration: Soy protein isolate, halibut, egg white, asparagus


  • Function: Inhibitory, calming
  • Highest concentration: Fermented foods, tea, tomato, mackerel

Glutamic acid:

  • Function: Stimulatory
  • Highest concentration: Soy protein isolate, soy sauce, cottage cheese, flaxseed


  • Function: Inhibitory, calming
  • Highest concentration: Gelatin, pork, beef, offal


  • Function: Inhibitory, calming
  • Highest concentration: Mackerel, chicken liver, crayfish, fish, lamb


A monoamine neurotransmitter of the brain and intestine (90% for intestinal movements). Biochemically derived from tryptophan. It has several physiological effects on mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and learning. Tryptophan->5-HTP->Serotonin

Serotonin deficiency problems include anxiety, depression, OCD. Intestinal problems include constipation and slow movements.

Serotonin Boosters:

  • Calcium : 500-1000mg
  • Fish oil: 500-2000mg
  • 5-HTP: 100-400mg
  • Magnesium: 200-600mg
  • Melatonin (at night): 0.1-2mg
  • Passionflower: 200-1000mg
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6): 5-50mg
  • SAM-e: 50-200mg
  • St John’s wort: 200-600mg
  • Tryptophan: 500-2000mg
  • Zinc: 15-45mg
  • Banana
  • Kiwifruit
  • Plum
  • Papaya
  • Date
  • Tomato
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Various types of fish
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cacao
  • Almond
  • Sesame seeds


Catecholamine and phenethylamine families. Dopamine is biochemically synthesized from tyrosine and dopa. The brain contains several different dopamine systems, most of which involve rewarding and motivating behavior patterns. Dopamine boosting drugs and stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, alcohol, and nicotine are addictive. Other dopamine systems involve motor control and hormone secretion. Phenylalanine->Tyrosine->Dopa->Dopamine->Noradrenaline->Adrenaline

Dysregulation is part of illnesses like Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, ADHD, and restless legs syndrome. Dopamine affects the digestive system, blood vessels, and immune system. Excessively low and high amounts both cause memory-impairing effects. Typical problems caused by dopamine deficiency are mood swings, depression, social withdrawal, poor observation skills, chronic fatigue, and low levels of physical energy.

Dopamine Boosters:

  • Phenylalanine: 500-2000mg
  • Tyrosine: 500-2000mg
  • Methionine: 250-1000mg
  • Rhodiola rosea: 50-200mg
  • Pyridoxine: 5-50mg
  • B-complex: 25-100mg
  • Phosphatidylserine: 50-200mg
  • Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo Biloba): 50-100mg
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Cottage cheese and ricotta cheese
  • Eggs
  • Pork
  • Duck
  • Walnut
  • Almond
  • Mucuna pruriens
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds


An ester of acetate and choline. It activates the muscles and triggers muscle contractions via nicotinic receptors. It acts as a brain plasticity and memory neurotransmitter via muscarinic receptors in the CNS. Alzheimer’s disease involves severe cholinergic (acetylcholinergic-producing) disorders. Has crucial role in the reception of various external stimuli as well as observation skills. Acetate+Choline->Acetylcholine

It affects the transmission of sensory information from the thalamus to certain parts of the cortex. Acetylcholine regulates brain speed and the frequency of electrical signals, insufficient acetylcholine levels may cause memory problems, slowness of movement, mood swings, learning difficulties, and difficulties in abstract thinking.

Acetylcholine Boosters:

  • Choline: 100-500mg
  • Phosphatidylcholine: 500-2000mg
  • Phosphatidylserine: 50-200mg
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine: 250-1000mg
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid): 200-1000mg
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 25-100mg
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 25-100mg
  • Methylcobalamin (vitamin B12): 100-500mg
  • Taurine: 250-1000mg
  • Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo Biloba): 50-100mg
  • Korean Ginseng: 100-500mg
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Eggs
  • Cow’s liver and lamb’s liver
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Yoghurt
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon and other oily fish
  • Pine nuts
  • Almond
  • Hazelnut
  • Macadamia nut


Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the nervous system. It affects the frequency of calming theta brain waves. It does not pass through the BBB. It is synthesized in the brain from glutamic acid with the help of B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate). Conversely, GABA breaks down into glutamate (stimulatory neurotransmitter). Glutamic acid->Glutamate->

Excessive GABA can cause memory loss, restlessness, convulsions, hallucinations, and impaired cognitive functions.

GABAa receptors are affected by diazepam. Alcohol affects GABAb receptors as well as the experience of pain. Individuals suffering from GABA deficiency often experience problems with stress tolerance, anxiety, depression, feelings of guilt as well as OCD.

GABA Boosters:

  • Inositol: 500-2000mg
  • GABA: 100-1000mg
  • Glutamic acid: 250-1000mg
  • Melatonin (at night): 0.1-2mg
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 200-600mg
  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3): 25-500mg
  • Pyridoxine: 5-50mg
  • Valerian: 100-500mg
  • Passionflower: 200-1000mg
  • Banana
  • Broccoli
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Spinach
  • Cow’s liver
  • Mackerel
  • Halibut
  • Almond
  • Walnut
  • Dark rice and rice bran
  • Oat

How to Eat Yourself Smart

1. Pursue Ketosis:

Ketosis makes for healthier mitochondria. When mitochondria malfunction, they can’t produce enough energy. Tissues with high demands, such as brain, muscles, and the heart suffer, resulting in complications like blindness, deafness, movement disorders, dementia, cardiomyopathy, myopathy, renal dysfunction, and accelerated aging. Ketosis is effective at reversing mitochondria dysfunction because it increases the number of mitochondria and the production of oxidative ATP, particularly in neurons.

After fasting for 16-72 hours or limiting your daily carb intake to 20-60g per day, after 2-3 days, your remaining glucose reserves are insufficient for normal fat oxidization and fueling the brain. The mitochondria in your liver then produce three ketone bodies: acetone, acetoacetate, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. These are derived from excess acetyl-CoA (a key molecule in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids). These are converted into other compounds and metabolized into energy in your cells. Ketone metabolism is known to create much less oxidative stress than glucose metabolism, resulting in reduced inflammation and improved mitochondrial health (helping to reduce demyelination in neurodegenerative disorders like multiple sclerosis).

Fasting or a fasting-mimicking diet can improve neurodegenerative disorders by upregulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which supports the growth and development of neuronal connections. The ketogenic diet has also shown to facilitate glutamate into GABA, which is important, as excess glutamate can overstimulate cells and lead to neural inflammation.

2. Fast:

Caloric restriction is an intentional reduction of your weekly or daily caloric intake. Fasting, especially intermittent fasting, does not require caloric restriction. You don’t eat less; you eat less often.

Many people attempt fasting and encounter thyroid downregulation, hormone depletion, low energy, and poor sleep because they try to marry caloric restriction-based fasting with an extremely active, calorie-decimating lifestyle with bodies that have few stores available (low body fat).

Fasting can be good for losing fat and improving brain health without restricting calories. It can also encourage metabolic autophagy. Abnormal or restricted autophagic activity is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Frequent feeding, particularly sugars and proteins, cause elevated insulin, which reduces neuronal autophagy, resulting in metabolic dysregulation and neurodegeneration.

3. Feed Your Gut Bacteria:

Aim for for whole, raw, organic, non-GMO foods that are friendly to the gut lining, such as bone broth, sprouted seeds, and cultured dairy products, along with fermented and cultured foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, and fiber-rich prebiotic foods, like jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, and dandelion greens. Remember that pasteurized fermented foods often no longer contain living bacteria. If you have a histamine intolerance, you should limit your fermented foods and stick to low-histamine probiotics, such as Seeking Health’s Probiota HistaminX.

4. Focus on Supportive Nutrients and Substances:


  • A fatty acid that can improve immune responses and may help to protect the brain. Meat and dairy of cows, sheep, and goats. Incorporate grass-fed, grass-finished beef or lamb or raw dairy products.

Butyric acid:

  • Butyrate, is a fatty acid found in milk, cheese, and butter. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting NF-kB activation in your colon. NF-kB regulates genes involved in immune inflammatory responses.

Glutathione (GSH):

  • GSH shields cells and cellular molecules from damaging oxidants and facilitates the excretion of toxins from cells. You need adequate protein intake to form it (0.5-0.8g per pound of bodyweight). Consume foods with GSH precursors, including milk thistle, quality whey protein, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, and foods that support methylation, such as avocado, lentils, liver, garbanzo beans, Brazil nuts, grass-fed beef, and spinach.
  • You can also supplement with sublingual glutathione, liposomal glutathione, injectable glutathione, IV glutathione, or capsules. Effective doses are 250-300mg daily, over 2-3 months.


  • Not a lot of research behind it, but some swear by activated charcoal’s ability to soak up poisons.


  • Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s critical for brain growth in infants and proper brain function in adults. DHA deficiency is associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria, depression, aggressive hostility, and adrenoleukodystrophy.
  • A study found that DHA improved the episodic memory of women and the working memory of men. Another study found that it prevented aggression in students during times of mental stress.
  • Shellfish, fish, such as shrimp, lobster, Dungeness crab, king crab, anchovies, salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, and halibut. Or consume 10-15g of krill (lower in the food chain) oil on the days you don’t eat fish. DHA is also available in grass-fed eggs and beef. If vegan/vegetarian, take spirulina and chlorella.
    • Fish create an enzyme that converts the plants (particularly algae) they consume into EPA and DHA. It has been shown that people who consume these enzymes or precursors to them, along with omega-5, 7, 9, 11, gamma-lipoic acid, and conjugated linoleic acid, and supportive minerals such as zinc and magnesium, can upregulate their conversion of plant-based oils into EPA and DHA.
    • A properly structured diet should include saturated, monosaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids along with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and minerals. This includes fish and roe, olive oil, grass-fed meats, seeds, nuts, organic vegetables, roots and tubers, and whole fruits. Curcuminoids in turmeric and curcumin may assist with the body’s own formation of EPA and DHA.


  • Eicosapentaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s highly available in algae and oily fish, as well as in fish oil. EPA levels in the brain are typically 250-300 times lower than DHA levels. So, it is not critical for neuronal health, but still plays a role. EPA helps to improve the strength of cell membranes and influences behavior and mood. It also acts as a precursor to eicosanoids, which are signaling and inhibiting molecules crucial in inflammatory and allergic reactions. ALA to EPA conversion is quite low (2-8%).


  • Alpha-linolenic acid is a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid that cannot be synthesized in the human body. ALA increases BDNF. It can be found in olives, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, and walnuts. Olive oil primarily consists of a monosaturated omega-9 fatty acid called oleic acid. Oleic acid possesses antioxidant properties that protect omega-3s from oxidation and is also a primary component of the myelin sheath.


  • Vitamin K in avocados help prevent blood clots to the brain. Also, to improve spatial working memory and attention span.

Beet juice:

  • Concentrated nitrates that decrease blood pressure and improve cognitive performance. Nitric oxide increases vascular function and circulation to the brain. You’d have to eat 3-4 beets to get the same effect of beet juice.

Blueberries, cocoa, virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil:

  • All contain flavonoids and flavanols, which can help protect the brain from oxidative stress.

Bone broth:

  • High levels of glycine, a nonessential amino acid that can improve neurological function by enhancing memory.

Broccoli and eggs:

  • Choline, which helps verbal and visual memory.

Kale, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce:

  • The nutrients found can be beneficial in preventing cognitive impairment and dementia.

Olive oil and walnuts:

  • Oleocanthal, which can reduce the neuron-damaging effects of ADDLs (amyloid beta-derived diffusible ligands). These ADDLs increase Alzheimer’s risk, and thus olive oil can have a preventative effect.


  • Potent antioxidant (carnosic acid) properties and chronic neurodegenerative disease prevention.


  • High in omega-3 fatty acids and boosts the phospholipid bilayer that encases each neuron. Strengthening membranes and synaptic connections.


  • Curcumin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that improves cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s. It also enhances the uptake of amyloid-beta plaques by the clean up crew of white blood cells, resulting in improved neuroprotection and reduced inflammation in the CNS.


Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR)

  • Protects brain from damage, acts as an antioxidant
  • Enhances cognitive functions and the function of mitochondria
  • Reduces mental fatigue and improves concentration especially in people with chronic fatigue
  • Improve overall cognition in the elderly

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)

  • Protects the brain and mitochondria from damage

Water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri)

  • Enhances memory
  • Enhances cognitive functions, such as attention speed

CDP-choline (citicoline)

  • Prevents memory deterioration and enhances memory and learning
  • Improves attentional performance

DHA (omega-3 fatty acid)

  • Enhances memory and reaction time
  • Slows down the aging of the brain and enhances learning
  • Increases cerebral blood flow


  • Enhances memory and prevents memory deterioration
  • In children, it alleviates ADHD symptoms and enhances short-term memory
  • Curbs the production of cortisol under strain and speeds up recovery from physical strain


  • Neuroprotective, protects the brain against oxidative stress
  • Tests conducted on rats found it to boost the production of GABA in the brain
  • May slow down the aging of the brain

Caffeine (coffee, tea)

  • Enhances long-term memory
  • Prevents dementia
  • When consumed together with theanine, it comprehensively enhances cognitive functions (100mg caffeine + 200mg theanine)


  • Enhances cognitive performance

Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba)

  • May enhance memory and observation skills due to improved cerebral flow

Creatine monohydrate

  • Enhances general brain performance
  • May improve short-term memory and intelligence of stressed individuals and/or healthy individuals with the biggest potential of aging


  • A precursor of dopamine and noradrenaline
  • Building blocks for thyroid hormones
  • Several studies have found improvements in mood, cognition, and physical performance under stress, fatigue, and sleep deprivation
  • Decreases cortisol levels when under acute stress

Gotu kola

  • Neuroprotective
  • May reduce anxiety and reactions to loud noises


  • Able to pass through the BBB and thus has a direct impact on the brain
  • Enhances memory and observation skills when consumed with green tea
  • Increases the frequency of alpha waves in the brain, enhances observation skills and cognitive functions when consumed together with caffeine

Lion’s mane

  • Stimulates the synthesis of nerve growth factor (BDNF) in the brain
  • Enhances cognitive functions in individuals with mild deterioration of cognitive skills
  • May reduce depression and anxiety


  • Imitates calorie restrictions in the diet which in turn has an anti-aging effect
  • Neuroprotective, i.e. protects the brain against damage

Longevity Supplements

These supplements can extend lifespan by either stimulating autophagy, controlling insulin, eliminating pathogens or boosting mitochondrial functioning.

Plant Compounds and Medicinal Mushrooms for Longevity

  • Chaga mushroom. – Chaga is a mushroom that grows on birch trees. It’s extremely beneficial for supporting the immune system, has anti-oxidative and soothing properties, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, stimulates autophagy and fights cancer. Chaga will promote the health and integrity of the adrenal glands. This mushroom can be consumed as powder, made into tinctures, or boiled into teas. You can harvest and grind it yourself. I myself consume about 1-3 teaspoons of Chaga throughout the day and love to add it to my coffee.
  • Lion’s Mane – A white mushroom that looks like a lion’s mane. It’s incredible for growing new brain cells and preventing cognitive decline. Supplementing just 3 grams a day has been shown to improve mental functioning of people with cognitive impairment. There are no known side-effects to all of these medicinal mushrooms. However, some people may be allergic to them. Generally, take 1-3 teaspoons a day.
  • Reishi Mushroom – Reishi or Lingzhi mushroom is a fungus that grows in humid regions. It improves the immune system and red blood cell functioning, which makes the body more capable at fighting disease. In fact, a study of over 4000 breast cancer survivors found that 59% of them were consuming reishi. This mushroom has a more relaxing feeling to it and is best taken for relaxation and stress reduction.
  • Rhodiola Rosea – It’s an adaptogenic herb that grows in mountainous regions. The root has many compounds known to reduce stress, fatigue, and anxiety. For men, it can also boost testosterone and increase virility.
  • Shitake Mushroom – a Dark brown fungus that grows on decaying trees. It contains polysaccharides, terpenoids, and sterols that boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and fight cancer.
  • Turkey Tail – Looks like a turkey tail. Cancer patients are sometimes given turkey tail extract to recover from chemotherapy and strengthen immunity. It’s another adaptogen that lowers stress and makes the body stronger.
  • Gingko Biloba – Maidenhair, as it’s called, is native to China. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant but it also improves blood circulation by increasing nitric oxide. There are other benefits on brain and eye health as well. Gingko contains alkylphenols that may cause nausea, allergic reactions, headaches, and rashes. Taking about 120-240 mg in several doses throughout the day seems to be enough. Any more than 600 mg is probably not a good idea.
  • EGCG – Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the main polyphenol in green tea with many health benefits. Green tea, in particular, is probably the healthiest drink in the world after mineral water. Too much green tea, however, may cause anxiety and heart palpitations because of the high caffeine content, which makes using green tea extracts or EGCG supplements a more convenient way to add extra polyphenols to your diet. Doses above 500 mg may become problematic.
  • Astralagus – It’s considered a superherb from Chinese medicine that’s been used for thousands of years as an adaptogen. Astralagus boosts immunity, strengthens the heart, and promotes the flow of energy throughout the body. You can take about 250-500 mg-s as a supplement, ½ tsp as a tincture, or 1-2 tsp of dried root powder.

Additional Longevity Supplements to Consider

  • Resveratrol – Taking resveratrol supplements with medications may cause unwanted side-effects like blood clotting and enzyme blocking. Most supplements have 250-500 mg-s per serving but studies say that to get the benefits of resveratrol you’d have to consume about 2000 mg-s a day. To get that amount, you’re going to have to take a high-quality resveratrol supplement.
  • Sulforaphane – It’s a powerful antioxidant that turns on the Nrf2 pathway with many anti-cancer properties. Cooking broccoli and cabbage triples their sulforaphane content. Unfortunately, frozen veggies deactivate myrosinase, which is an enzyme that creates sulforaphane. Broccoli sprouts, in particular, contain dozens of times more vitamin K and sulforaphane. If you’re not eating a lot of cruciferous or sprouts, then you can take 10 mgs of sulforaphane as a supplement.
  • Carnosine – It’s a combination of the amino acids – beta-alanine and histidine – with many anti-aging benefits. Carnosine is most known for protecting against free radicals and AGEs. This will keep the cells healthy and prevents aging of the skin. Naturally found in red meat and animal foods, supplementing carnosine has no side-effects. 7 ounces of beef has about 250 mg-s of carnosine but for optimal longevity, you’d want to aim for about 1000 mg-s a day.
  • Astaxanthin – Wild salmon’s flesh is slightly pink and reddish – that’s astaxanthin. It’s an incredibly powerful antioxidant and mitochondrial supporter, which is why freshwater fish like trout and salmon are capable of surviving such harsh conditions. Astaxanthin supplementation is great for anti-aging and maintaining muscle functioning. Doses of 4-40 mg-s a day have been shown to be safe. Too much astaxanthin may cause an upset stomach.
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) – Lipoic Acid has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects on the brain, and other tissue. It helps with fat oxidation, blood sugar regulation, and cardiovascular function. ALA is found in every cell of your body and it can be obtained from vegetables and meat. Therapeutic dosages of ALA range from 600- 1800 mg/day with doses above 1200 mg-s causing nausea and itching.
  • C60 – Buckminsterfullerene, or buckyballs, or C60 is quite a new and unstudied compound. It helps to eliminate superoxide dismutase, which gets created as a by-product of cellular metabolism. This fights reactive oxygen species and promotes longevity. C60 oil should be dissolved in oil with a centrifuge. Pure C60 can be toxic. Usually, as a supplement, C60 comes in either olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. One teaspoon a day is probably enough for experimentation.
  • Glutathione – The most important antioxidant in the body that’s made of glutamine, glycine, and cysteine. Naturally, glutathione is found in sulfur-rich foods like beef, fish, poultry, and vegetables. Glutathione decreases with age so it’s a good idea to supplement it. Increasing vitamin C and selenium may help co-factor the production of glutathione. Milk thistle and curcumin can also increase glutathione. Glutathione supplement doses range from 50-600 mg/day.
  • Apigenin – It’s a compound found in plants and vegetables like parsley, onions, fruit etc. with anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Apigenin is neuroprotective and fights cancer. However, it can be toxic with 100 mg/kg causing liver toxicity in mice. Parsley is 45 mg/g apigenin. It can also be found in olive leaf and artichoke extracts. 
  • Quercetin – Flavonoids are amazing anti-aging compounds and quercetin is one of them. It protects against free radicals and DNA damage. Quercetin is found in elderberries, red onions, garlic, cranberries, kale, hot peppers, kale, blueberries and the skin of apples. Supplementation is generally safe but not very effective because of poor bioavailability.
  • Melatonin – The main sleep hormone melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant. You don’t want to rely on melatonin supplementation as it may hinder your natural ability to produce melatonin. However, using about 0.3-1 grams on some nights can be useful. Liquid melatonin is absorbed much better and gives a more sustained release.
  • Spermidine – Originally found from semen, spermidine is a polyamine compound associated with anti-aging and other metabolic benefits. It can also boost autophagy, longevity and assist with circadian rhythm regulation. Foods higher in spermidine are aged cheese, natto, and miso but also beef, mushrooms, salmon roe, wheat germ, and chicken.

Supplements for Mitochondrial Support

  • PQQ – Pyrroloquinoline Quinone is a non-vitamin growth factor that supports mitochondrial function. This will have a compounding effect on everything else you do. Humans can make about 100-400 nanograms of PQQ a day, mainly from dietary sources. Consuming 0.3 mg/kg PQQ is safe but 500-1000 mg/kg can cause death in rats. Foods high in PQQ are raw cacao, green tea, fermented foods, and organ meats. Taking about 20 mg of PQQ as a supplement is the optimal dose for an average weighing individual.
  • CoQ10 – Co-Enzyme Q10 is another mitochondrial supporter and antioxidant. It’s important for energy production and tissue development. Found in fish, red meat, especially organ meats, and fermented foods. CoQ10 comes in two different forms — ubiquinol and ubiquinone. The CoQ10 in your blood consists of 90% ubiquinol and it’s more absorbable. Therefore, ubiquinol CoQ10 supplements are better. Daily dosage ranges from 90-200 mg. Doses over 500 mgs are also safe.
  • Nicotinamide Riboside – B vitamins play an important role in energy and nerve functioning. Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a form of B3 that gets easily converted into NAD+ and can activate sirtuins. It’s mostly found in cow’s milk, whey protein, and brewer’s yeast. If you’re not eating a lot of animal products or are deficient in B3, then nicotinamide supplements can work. Doses of 5000 mg/kg haven’t shown increased risk of death. Nicotinamide Riboside can increase NAD+ as does Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN).
  • Pterostilbene – It is a polyphenol that’s chemically similar to resveratrol that can also act as a precursor to NAD. The benefits include improved insulin sensitivity, reduced cholesterol, increased cognition, and antioxidant capacity. High doses of pterostilbene can raise LDL cholesterol but there are no other known side-effects.

Synthetic Medication Linked to Longevity

  • Metformin – Used for primarily diabetes, a lot of anti-aging enthusiasts are also interested in using metformin. Its main effect is in lowering blood sugar and suppressing insulin. Metformin also inhibits the liver’s glucagon production, which prevents weight gain and blood sugar rises. The most common side-effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also cause lactic acidosis by decreasing the breakdown of lactate into glucose. Hypoglycemia is another potential issue as well as cognitive impairments. Other than that, it’s deemed safe. I don’t see any practical value in taking additional metformin to lower your blood sugar if you’re already doing intermittent fasting, exercising, and eating low carb.
  • Rapamycin – The mTOR pathway was discovered by a group of proteins being targeted by the compound called rapamycin, hence the name ‘mammalian target of rapamycin’. Rapamycin blocks mTOR and thus has been shown to increase longevity. It’s also known as sirolimus and it works as an immunosuppressant that inhibits T-cells and B-cells. There are a few side-effects, such as diabetes-like symptoms, weakened immune system, increased cancer risk, and impaired wound healing. That makes sense because TOR is necessary for tissue growth and maintenance. Blocking mTOR all the time isn’t optimal for longevity because it makes the person less insulin sensitive and weaker. Although rapamycin may be promising as a short-term treatment of diabetes and cancer, I don’t see it having any practical value for someone already doing the Metabolic Autophagy Protocol.

Anabolic Supplements

These aren’t your anabolic steroid-like substances that lower your natural testosterone, give you Gynecomastia, or make your hair fall out. They’re actually quite healthy for you if taken at the right time.

Muscle Building Supplements

  • Creatine Monohydrate – Creatine is an organic acid produced in the liver that helps to supply energy to cells all over the body, especially muscles. It enhances ATP production and allows for muscle fibers to contract faster, quicker, and makes them overall stronger. This means increased physical performance with explosive and strength-based movements and sprinting. Creatine has been found to improve cognitive functioning, as it’s a nootropic as well, improving mental acuity and memory, especially in vegetarian diets. Naturally, it can be found mostly in red meat. Just take 3-5 grams a day, preferably with food.
  • Branched Chain Amino Acids. L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine are grouped together and called BCAAs because of their unique chemical structure. They’re essential and have to be derived from diet. Supplementing will increase performance, muscle recovery and protein synthesis. There is no solid evidence to show any significant benefit to BCAAs. However, they can be very useful to take before fasted workouts to reduce muscle catabolism. It will protect against muscle catabolism and can even promote ketone body production.
  • Whey protein – On a standard ketogenic diet, you would want to avoid protein shakes because they spike your insulin. If you’re doing CKD or TKD you would benefit from having an easily digestible source of protein. Before you break your fast and begin your carb refeed, make a quick shake to get the juices flowing. You can also use whey protein during fasted workouts with targeted intermitted fasting. This again will prevent muscle catabolism and will increase performance.
  • Phosphatidic Acid – Phosphatidic Acid (PA) can regulate mTOR and promote muscle growth. It’s a unique lipid molecule that turns on MPS in response to resistance training. PA can be found in foods some foods but in extremely low quantities. Vegetables like cabbage contain 0.5 mg-s of PA per gram. That’s minute compared to the 250-750 mg doses in studies. More research about the effectiveness of PA supplementation in humans is needed but no long-term side-effects have been noted. Daily intake of 450 mg-s is optional.
  • Dextrose – It’s basically powdered glucose and very high on the glycemic index. You want to avoid it on SKD, but on CKD or TKD it’s very useful for a post-workout shake with protein. It’s dirt cheap and you’d want to take only 3-5 grams at once. Use it ONLY when doing the TKD or CKD because under other circumstances you’re not doing your health a service. Dextrose is pure glucose and it’s processed so it’s definitely not optimal for autophagy or longevity. Most people don’t need it and you may feel better without it but it’s just an option to keep at the back of your head.
  • D-Ribose – It’s a simple carbohydrate molecule that’s involved in energy production. D-Ribose can be found in all living cells as it’s the structural basis of DNA and RNA. The other health benefits include reduced fatigue, improved heart health, better workouts, and kidney protection. Long-term D-Ribose supplementation may promote AGE production so you only want to use it for some hardcore workouts. In total, you can take about 5-10 grams of D-Ribose with pre-workout protein.
  • Cordyceps – Cordyceps aren’t actually mushrooms but a family of parasitic fungi that grow on the larvae of insects. They grow inside their victims, usually ants, and grow stems outside of the host’s corpse. These ‘zombie-parasites’ have been shown to promote ATP production, reduce time to fatigue, increase oxygen uptake, and improve exercise performance. They’re not necessarily anabolic or pro-longevity but they will improve your health and lifespan.
  • Peptides – They’re a combination of two or more amino acids in which a carboxyl group of one is united with an amino group of another. Basically, very small protein molecules with anabolic benefits. Peptides are digested more easily and rapidly. There are some common peptides like glutamine, creatine, and collagen, but some less conventional ones have a much stronger effect on human growth hormone production. For instance, IGF-1, GHRP-6, and Ipamorelin are very anabolic and promote muscle growth. Most of these peptides are not available for commercial purposes, only research and clinical situations.
  • Deer Antler Velvet Spray – IGF-1 promotes cellular growth and anabolism. Deer antler velvet sprays contain growth hormones that can make muscles grow. Although the evidence and bioavailability of such products is questionable, it can still raise IGF-1 a little bit. Use deer antler sprays only after heavy training the same way you’d stimulate mTOR.
  • Colostrum – It’s sometimes called ‘liquid gold’ because of the yellowish color. Colostrum is the precursor to breast milk and it’s rich in immunity-boosting compounds and growth factors. As an anti-aging supplement, it may prevent tissue degeneration and skin aging. Not something I’d recommend taking every day but on workout days it can be used for muscle hypertrophy.
  • Collagen protein. Collagen provides the fastest possible healthy tissue repair, bone renewal, and recovery after exercise. It can also boost mental clarity, reduce inflammation, clear your skin, promote joint integrity, reduces aging and builds muscle. Naturally, it’s found in tendons and ligaments, that can be consumed by eating meat. As a supplement, it can be used as protein powder or as gelatin capsules.
  • HMB – β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate is a by-product of leucine, which is an amino acid that stimulates protein synthesis. It’s been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and improve recovery. HMB can cause acute muscle anabolism and MPS independent of insulin, thus it will maintain a semi-fasted state. You can take it with the intra-workout protein shake to minimize muscle catabolism. Use pure HMB powder instead of the ones with artificial sweeteners.
  • Beta-Alanine – An amino acid that reduces fatigue and increases physical performance. It’s the main ingredient of many pre-workout drinks and thus it can help you to push yourself during workouts, especially if you’re training fasted. Generic pre-workout drinks are way too stimulating and high in caffeine. Instead, take pure beta-alanine with your protein shake.

The Extra Edge

As a disclaimer, they’re not some miraculous alchemical substances that will instantly melt off 10 pounds of fat and increase life expectancy by 5 years. Instead, they’re supplements that work in some situations.

  • Pro- and prebiotics – Naturally, food is full of living organisms.
  • Sauerkraut, raw milk, yogurt, unprocessed meat all have good bacteria in them. Probiotics are live microorganisms in a pill that transport these good bacteria into our gut for improved digestion and immune system. Prebiotics are different, they’re not alive, but plant fiber that feeds the bacteria. They’re indigestible parts of the vegetable that go through our digestive tract into our gut where the bacteria then eat them. If you’re coming off antibiotics or suffer from a gut dysbiosis, then it can be useful to add some probiotics into your diet. However, to know what strands and species to take specifically you’d have to take a gut test.
  • MACA Root – Another superfood comes from the Peruvian mountains and is the root of ginseng. It has numerous amounts of vitamins and minerals in it, such as magnesium zinc, copper etc. Also, it promotes hormone functioning for both men and women, as well as increases our energy production just like creatine does. It can either be powdered or made into a tablet. You shouldn’t take maca every day because of its potency. Optimally, you’d want to take maybe a teaspoon every other day.
  • GABA – Called gamma-aminobutyric acid, it’s the main inhibitory neurotransmitter and regulates the nerve impulses in the human body. Therefore, it is important for both physical and mental performance, as both of them are connected to the nervous system. Also, GABA is to an extent responsible for causing relaxation and calmness, helping to produce BDNF.
  • L-Theanine – It’s an amino acid found in tea leaves, especially green tea. L-theanine has an alertness boosting effect but it’s not as stimulating as coffee. The release of caffeine from L-theanine is more subtle and long-lasting. That makes it a great addition to your morning coffee if you want to prevent the crash. It’s generally safe and there isn’t a lethal dose.
  • Alpha GPC – Alpha-Glycerophosphocholine or α-GPC is a cholinergic compound that improves cognitive functioning and brain health. High doses of 1200 mg-s appear to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Some athletes take 600 mg-s before exercise to hone their mental focus.
  • 5-HTP – 5-Hydroxytryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, which has anti-depressant and relaxing effects. It can help with sleep, weight loss, and anxiety. 200-300 mg doses are safe but higher ones may have side-effects.
  • Bacopa Monnieri – Also known as Waterhyssop is a nootropic herb that’s used in traditional medicine for cognition and longevity. It can improve memory and relieve stress. The standard dosage is 300 mg-s a day with the upper limit being around 750-1200 mg-s.
  • MCT oil – medium chain triglycerides are fat molecules that can be digested more rapidly than normal fat ones, which are usually long chain triglycerides. Naturally, it’s extracted from coconut oil and is an enhanced liquidized version of it. 
  • Exogenous Ketones – Supplemental ketone bodies that raise your blood ketones for a short period of time. They come in the form of either beta-hydroxybutyrate salts or ketone esters. BHB salts are marketed as a fat loss tool for getting into ketosis. However, the seeming fat loss effect comes from appetite suppression and adherence. They still have calories and they’ll actually shut down your liver’s own endogenous production of ketone bodies. The best time to take exogenous ketones would be as a pre-workout while fasting. At other times they’re not worth it. I sometimes would take some BHB salts to increase my electrolytes but not on a habitual basis.

When to Take Supplements

  • Take your supplements with food. At the first meal, take vitamin-D, fish oil, sea vegetable powders. In the evening, GABA, creatine, magnesium, to promote sleep. I like to think of Brazil nuts as supplements as well and take 2-4 of them daily. Don’t take any more because you’ll get selenium poisoning.
  • Most of the minerals in your body are stored in your bones, fat tissue, and other storage locations. The problem is that if you’re eating all the time – several meals a day, then you’re preventing yourself from using those micronutrients.
  • Moral of the story is: you don’t need to be taking a lot of supplements as long as you’re eating a wide variety of foods, even if you’re eating just once a day.
  • The thing is that while the body catabolizes itself, you mobilize a lot of the nutrients that are already there. Micronutrient deficiencies are mostly caused by poor dietary choices overall not by inadequate supplementation.
  • You definitely don’t have to worry about micronutrient deficiencies while fasting for just 16-24 hours. Honestly, anything less than 24 hours isn’t actual fasting because you’re not triggering the deepest metabolic adaptations.
  • Iron and electrolyte deficiencies happen usually because of dehydration and excessive excretion of your body’s salts. The most common reason is coffee and tea consumption. You can drink coffee while fasting but hot liquids and beverages may make you absorb less of the micronutrients. The tannins and caffeine in coffee and teas can lower the absorption rate of your supplements. They can also make you excrete more of the other electrolytes and minerals through urine, so you have to be careful with not taking your supplements together with these drinks.
  • There are so many prescription drugs out there that it all depends on what particular disease you have and what kind of medicine it requires.
    • If you’re fasting for just 16-24 hours, then take your medication with food to make sure you absorb it. That short period of abstinence won’t make you sicker because most of the drugs are already bullsh#t.
    • If you’re fasting for several days, then consult your doctor and ask what are the absorption implications and what ingredients the drug has. Most medications have additional filler ingredients like corn starch, dextrose, and other compounds that may potentially inhibit the autophagy effects of a fast.
  • But honestly…Doing strict fasting for several days is much more effective and healthier for you than taking medicine. The majority of diseases can already be fixed with fasting.
  • Before supplementing any specific vitamin, you’d be better off by first focusing on eating real food, getting your nutrients from that, taking blood tests to see your deficiencies, and then taking those supplements you need with food.
  • While fasting, you’re much better off by getting your electrolytes and not worrying about the other micronutrients. You won’t become deficient, you’ll promote the mobilization of your already existent mineral stores, you’ll elicit a beneficial hormetic response, and you’ll maintain your sensitivity to those nutrients while you’re actually consuming food.

Digestive System 101

3/4 of your immune system is located in the 30ft long tract from your mouth to your anus. Only protected from the rest of the body by a one cell thick wall.

Your liver can destroy old RBCs; manufacture proteins, blood clotting agents, and cholesterol; stores glycogen, fats, and proteins; converts fats and proteins to carbohydrates and lactic acid to glucose; transforms galactose (milk sugar) into glucose; extracts ammonia from amino acids; converts ammonia to urea; produces bile; stores fat-soluble vitamins; converts adipose tissue into ketone bodies; and neutralizes pharmaceuticals and alcohol.

The gallbladder stores and concentrates bile and, when not functioning properly, can cause post-meal nausea, bloating, indigestion, fatty stool, constipation, bacterial overgrowth, low thyroid activity, hunger, and blood sugar dysregulation.

The 10 Most Common Gut Issues and How to Fix Them

1. Gluten and Gliadin Sensitivities:

Gliadin is a protein molecule found in most gluten-containing foods, primarily wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, teff, and couscous. An inflammatory reaction to gliadin can take place in the small intestine in many people who do not have diagnosed celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but who do have a subclinical sensitivity to gliadin. Often the case with those of Irish, English, Scottish, Scandinavian, or other Northern Eastern European ancestries. The sensitivity causes an inflammatory reaction in the gastrointestinal tract that involves heat, redness, swelling, and an interruption in the normal function of the small intestine. The blood vessels in the gut enlarge and become more permeable, which brings WBCs and other immune cells to the site of injury. Fluids leak from these blood vessels into the surrounding tissues, bringing more WBCs. Fibrin aids in the intestinal wall’s repair process. Within 12-15 hours after the gliadin meal has hit the gut and the inflammatory response has occurred, immune system activity diminishes and the gut can begin to heal. Unless you eat more gliadin containing foods and the process continues, never getting a chance to heal.

  • There is a loss of nutrient absorption, due to gliadin destroying the villi, reducing the total absorption area and leading to indigestion. Recognized as bloating, tiredness, a hyperactive bowel, and sizable or uncomfortable bowel movements.
  • Gliadin can increase gut permeability, as the increased inflammation can lead to the mucosal tissue breaking down, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Undigested food particles can pass through and enter the bloodstream, causing an immune response and increasing bodily stress. Gut permeability increases even more when you exercise, especially in the heat, making the likelihood of brain fog, sickness, sleeping trouble, and low energy levels increase.

Gluten and gliadin containing foods may cause fat malabsorption and lactose intolerance. In the tips of the villi are lacteals, which are responsible for breaking down fat into absorbable droplets. When villi are damaged, you can’t properly absorb fat, which is crucial for producing hormones and building cell membranes. Also, fat soluble hormones like A, D, E, and K cannot be absorbed either. Reducing any benefits from fish oil, sunlight, or photo-biomodulation. Resulting in poor sugar control, an inability to repair CNS damage, poor nerve cell function, low hormone production, and reduced antioxidant levels.

  • A damaged intestinal wall cannot produce lactase, so those who like to eat cheese, yogurt, and ice cream can’t do it while consuming gluten and gliadin.
  • Even if gluten doesn’t bother your stomach, it can still cause brain inflammation and fuzzy thinking.

Gluten and Gliadin containing foods:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables (especially when highly processed, sugary, or dried)
  • Uncovered meats in the meat case in the butcher’s section at the grocery store (crumbs and other glutinous products get cross-contaminated)
  • Highly processed nuts and seeds
  • Chocolate bars that contain wheat or wheat-containing products, like wafers
  • Nutrition, protein, energy, or weight loss bars
  • Canned soups or prepackaged soup mixes, which often use gluten as a thickener
  • Popcorn snacks, coated with gluten and also rancid vegetable oils

In some people, foods that the immune system see as gluten trigger a similar reaction. This is because these foods have similar protein structures to gluten and can therefore, trigger antigluten antibodies:

  • Dairy products (especially the alpha-casein, beta-casein, casomorphin, butyrophilin, and whey)
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Soy
  • Sorghum
  • Eggs
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Yeast
  • Quinoa
  • Tapioca

If you do eat gluten products and don’t plan on stopping, you can take peptidases to help break them down. To help heal the gut lining you should also drink a few cups of organic bone broth each day (unless you are sensitive to histamines) and consume marshmallow root supplements, licorice extract, colostrum, L-glutamine, aloe vera juice, chia seeds, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. You can also get tested for gluten sensitivity and intolerance somewhere like Cyrex Laboratories. ALCAT and ELISA test are often inaccurate, give false positives, or both.

You can eat slow-fermented sourdough bread in some cases. Because the fermentation predigests the gluten and lowers the glycemic index as a bonus.

2. FODMAP Sensitivity:

Some people suffer from a complete elimination of the bowels because of their poor absorption of short-chain carbohydrates called fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs). Researchers reported that in all participants, gastrointestinal symptoms worsened when their diets included gluten or whey protein. Although, it may not be gluten causing the gut issues. In some cases, it is the FODMAPs that create the inflammation and creating gluten sensitivity. When on a low-FODMAP diet, some participants could handle gluten.

Many of the foods we commonly eat are high-residue foods: when they’re digested, there is a lot of extra matter, such as lactose, indigestible fiber, and other plant particles for bacteria to feed on. When bacteria feed and proliferate, fermentation begins, and there is fermentation in your gut, it causes bloating, cramping, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. FODMAPs ferment faster than others. FODMAPs often cause gut-related distress, such as depression, fatigue, headaches, or brain fog.

Those with FODMAP sensitivities should eliminate these when issues arise (onion and garlic first):

  • Fruit, agave, and honey: Fructose is a monosaccharide fruit sugar. Melons and tropical fruits, such as mangoes, and fruits high in polyols, such as apples, peaches, and pears, also contain high amounts of fructose. As do sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and agave.
  • Beans and lentils: Oligosaccharides are short strands of simple sugars present in all beans and lentils. Maltodextrin, which is found in many sports gels, is also an oligosaccharide, as are isomaltooligosaccharides (IMOs) and other forms of so-called low-carb fiber found in many energy bars. These tend to spike blood sugar even though they are advertised as low carb.
  • Wheat, onions, and cabbage: A sugar called fructan
  • Dairy: Lactose is a disaccharide.
  • Sugar alcohols: Polyols. Also used in sweeteners. Xylitol, maltitol, and sorbitol are examples of sugar alcohols. Xylitol is better tolerated than maltitol, sorbitol, and disaccharide polyols like lactitol.

For most people with FODMAP issues, garlic and onions are the biggest culprits. So, you can get the benefits of garlic (antimicrobial and antifungal) without eating it by taking allicin supplements.

Foods Suitable on a Low FODMAP Diet:


  • Banana, blueberry, boysenberry, cantaloupe, cranberry, durian, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, mandarins, passionfruit, pawpaw, raspberry, rhubarb, rockmelon, star anise, strawberry, tangelo


  • Alfala, bamboo shoots, bean shoots, bok choy, carrot, celery, choko, choy sum, endive, ginger, green beans, lettuce, olives, parnsip, potato, pumpkin, red capsaicin, silver beet, spinach, squash, swede, sweet potato, taro, tomato, turnip, yam, zucchini


  • Basil, chili, coriander, ginger, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme

Grain Foods:

  • Gluten-free bread or cereal products, 100% splelt bread, rice, oats, polenta
  • Other: Arrowroot, millet, psyllium, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca

Milk Products:

  • Milk: Lactose-free milk, oat milk, rice milk, soy milk
  • Cheeses: Hard cheeses, brie, camembert
  • Ice Cream Substitute: Gelato, sorbet
  • Butter Substitute: Olive oil
  • Yogurt: Lactose-free varieties 


  • Sweeteners: Sugar (sucrose), glucose, artificial sweeteners not ending in “-ol”
  • Honey Substitutes: Golden syrup, maple syrup, molasses, treacle

Food to Eliminate on a Low-FODMAP Diet:

Excess Fructose:

  • Fruits: Apple, mango, nashi, pear, canned fruit in natural juice, watermelon, concentrated fruit sources, larger servings of fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice
  • Sweeteners: Fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey


  • Milk from cows, goats, or sheep, custard ice cream, yogurt
  • Cheeses: Soft unripened cheeses, cottage, cream, mascarpone, ricotta


  • Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, eggplant, fennel, garlic, leek, okra, onions, shallots, spring onions
  • Cereals: Wheat and rye in large amounts, e.g., bread, crackers, cookies, couscous, pasta
  • Fruit: Custard apple, persimmon, watermelon
  • Miscellaneous: Chicory, dandelion, inulin, pistachio


  • Legumes: Baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans


  • Fruit: Apple, apricot, avocado, blackberry, cherry, longon, lychee, nashi, pear, plum, prune, watermelon
  • Vegetables: Cauliflower, green capsaicin, mushroom, sweet corn
  • Sweeteners: Sorbitol, mannitol, isomalt, maltitol, xylitol

3. Insufficient Digestive Enzymes and Low Enzyme Activity:

People who stress their guts by eating large amounts of food, eating while stressed, or eating before, during, or after exercise. The amount of food you eat can exceed the capacity of your digestive enzymes. Or your pancreas or small intestine could have a genetic inability to produce a certain enzyme, such as lactase. Or perhaps your gut is so ravaged from periods of poor eating, gliadin exposure, and the like and is simply unable to produce enough enzymes. If you don’t produce enough digestive enzymes, you won’t be able to digest your food properly. Undigested protein is more likely to pass through a damaged intestinal wall into the bloodstream and cause inflammation.

The best way to test for digestive enzyme deficiency is by a 3-day Genova protocol, which involves multiple stool collections that you send to a lab. They measure the presence of bacteria, parasites, yeasts, fungi, and other compounds.

You can also pay attention to symptoms instead:

  • Gas and bloating after meals
  • Feeling as if you have food sitting in your stomach after you eat
  • Feeling full after eating a few bites of food
  • Seeing undigested food in your stool
  • Frequent and consistent floating stool
  • An oil slick in the toilet bowl (undigested fat)

The fixes for digestive enzyme insufficiencies are:

  • Clean up your diet by avoiding excessive calories, eating when relaxed, and not eating too close to or during exercise, so that your gut can produce adequate digestive enzymes
  • Eat more slowly and mindfully, and avoid rushed, hectic meals. This increases stomach acid production, which aids in protein digestion, liberates digestive enzymes for the breakdown of fats, proteins, and sugars, and enhances peristalsis
  • Engage in intermittent fasts of 12-16 hours daily to give your gut a break
  • Take digestive enzymes (HCL and bile; Thorne Bio-Gest is a good option) before you eat, and use some of the strategies to reduce glycemic variability
  • If you do need to eat while stressed try to blend and grind your foods as much as possible
  • Fix inflammation. When inflammation is not controlled, the body’s ability to make bile is downregulated
  • Digestifs and bitters before a meal (ginger, black pepper, raw honey, and lemon juice), a spoonful of sauerkraut, a digestive enzyme that contains ox bile extract, or a supplement such as Quicksilver Scientific’s Dr. Shade’s Bitters No. 9 to help bile production and gallbladder health. “Radical Metabolism” by Ann Louise Gittleman for gallbladder and other digestive issues related to enzyme production

4. Insufficient Gut Bacteria:

A low-fiber diet can deprive your gut bacteria of prebiotics. Not to mention a lack of foods high in probiotics. Most commercial food is pasteurized, packaged improperly, or have lots of sugar added.

If you have insufficient levels of gut bacteria, you are likely to experience the following:

  • The complete absence of gas
  • Undigested fiber in your stool, which appears as white or dark specks
  • Constipation, with occasional diarrhea or IBS
  • Frequent sickness and allergies
  • Blood-clotting problems
  • Neurological problems and brain fog
  • Decreased physical performance

If you suspect you have insufficient gut bacteria levels you can do a 3-day Genova stool test, or even microbiome analysis, offered by companies such as Viome and Onegevity. Then, do the following:

  1. Consume a wide variety of fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables, along with yogurts, kefirs, miso, natto, and other foods. This provides good bacteria and the fiber to feed them. When repopulating the gut with good bacteria, the pH tends to lower, which is a natural deterrent for pathogens.
  2. Consume a full-spectrum probiotic, such as Seed, Caprobiotics, Throne Floramend, or VSL-3, along with a soil-based probiotic such as Prescript Assist. If you’ve ever been on antibiotics, also take Saccharomyces boulardii. It is also a good idea to swap brands every month or two to change up strains.
  3. Consume plenty of vegetables and moderate amounts of fiber from other sources, such as seeds and nuts. If eating salads, smoothies, and plant matter is logistically tough, consider a greens powder rich in polyphenols, flavonols, and prebiotics derived from organic greens. Organifi Green Juice, Living Fuel SuperGreens, Athletic Greens, and EnerPrime.

Prebiotics are water-soluble fiber and include oligosaccharides, arabinogalactans, fructo-oligosaccharides, and inulin, which are found in vegetables, grains, and roots. Insoluble fiber promotes healthy bowel movements but does not selectively fuel growth of beneficial bacteria like soluble fiber and is found in legumes, oats, rice bran, barley, citrus, and potatoes.

Postbiotics are the by-products of probiotics after they have fermented and metabolized prebiotics. Key factors in maintaining long-term digestive health.

Modbiotics are compounds that influence the growth of gut microbiota through their antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-parasitic properties. They can reduce excessive firmicutes (sugar-eating bacteria that drive inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic acidosis) and increase gut bacteroidetes. Usually found in natural foods that also contain the sugars, such as pomegranate seeds, fruit peels, pulp, and skin.

Chronic stress, particularly from overtraining, can produce inflammation in the gut, which causes stress that promotes the movement of toxic lipopolysaccharides (LPS) from the gut to the bloodstream, as well as the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. This is why endurance athletes who don’t consume high-carb foods can still experience gut distress, bloating, constipation, and other GI issues.

Several studies have shown that gut microbiota molecules, including short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, are essential for controlling mitochondrial oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and pathogen growth, and also improve metabolism and energy expenditure during exercise. Furthermore, short-chain fatty acids and their precursors – such as those found in butter, coconut oil, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth, cultured vegetables, coconut water, kefir, and probiotic beverages – can induce mitochondrial biogenesis, through a variety of mechanisms such as an increase in the activity of PCG-1alpha (a key regulator of energy metabolism), an increase in redox sensitive energy sensor SIRT1 (a cell-protective and anti-aging pathway), and an increase in the enzyme AMPK (crucial for ATP production), all of which suppress inflammatory responses and enhance the beneficial effects of exercise.

Mitochondria affect gut bacteria too. Mitochondrial ROS production influences the integrity of your intestinal barrier and mucosal immune responses, which regulate the balance and quality of your gut microbiota.

To care for your gut microbiome, eat foods rich in short-chain fatty acids, and support your mitochondria by consuming mineral-rich water and electrolytes, get enough sunlight and infrared light exposure, grounding, using PEMF therapy, cold exposure, and heat therapy.

5. Too Much Gut Bacteria:

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can be problematic for people who consume a high-carbohydrate diet (bacteria feed on sugars and starches) and in people with any of the following:

  • Low stomach acid production
  • Celiac or Crohn’s disease
  • IBS
  • Poor liver function
  • A history of heavy alcohol consumption
  • A history of taking oral contraceptives

SIBO is a chronic bacterial infection of the small intestine. These bacteria usually live in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract, but when they expand into the small intestine, they interfere with healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients and are associated with damage to the lining of the small intestine (leaky gut syndrome). This can lead to deficiencies in iron and B12, reducing RBC levels.

With poor nutrient absorption comes undigested material for the bacteria to feed on, creating a cycle. Bacteria can also reduce fat absorption by de-conjugating bile, leading to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies. Undigested food particles can also enter the body, and your immune system reacts to them, creating food allergies and sensitivities. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and lead to an immune response. This can lead to endotoxemia, characterized by chronic fatigue and stress in the liver. The bacteria secrete acids which can cause neurological and cognitive symptoms, such as depression and autism.

SIBO can cause nutrient deficiencies, flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and food sensitivities. If you have SIBO, you may also have a negative reaction to fermented foods and IBS from probiotics.

You can test for SIBO with an at-home breath test that measures the amount of gas produced by bacteria. These can produce false negatives though. Try lower carbohydrate intake, juicing, and doing herbal cleanses, as well as an elemental diet.

SIBO protocol:

  • Eat only nonfermentable carbohydrates, and limit carbohydrates in general
  • Juice once or twice daily: fresh plantain leaves, one-quarter of a medium sized cabbage, 2 small-to-medium-sized beets, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 1-to-2-inch chunk of ginger
  • Herbal antibiotics and tinctures such as goldenseal extract, phellodendron, coptis, cordyceps, garlic extract, and oil of oregano. People who do not recover after this protocol may benefit from the prokinetic agent such as octreotide or low-dose naltrexone to increase muscular contractions of the bowel. You will also likely find Atrantil to be helpful
  • Palpate the area about 2 inches to the right of your belly button, or massage it with an iliacus and psoas massage tool like a Pso-Rite. If there’s a problem with the ileocecal valve, you’ll find this area extremely tight and sensitive. This is often correlated to poor vagus nerve tone. Addressing vagal tone can be useful for constipation. Parasym Plus has been successful for eliminating constipation due to poor vagus nerve function
  • The antimicrobial peptide LL-37 may be effective for autoimmune issues and gut-inflammation conditions, including fungal and bacterial overgrowth. 100mcg per week for about 6 weeks, injected subcutaneously in the abdomen. Probably not worth the pain and could just do the prior instructions

6. Yeast, Fungus, and Parasites:

With Candida albicans you can get chronic fatigue, difficulty losing weight, sugar and carbohydrate cravings, brain fog, and even sensitivities or allergies to foods that were once fine. Similar to SIBO in being SIFO.

Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum – Total Gut Balance: Fix Your Mycobiome Fast for Complete Digestive Wellness:

  • Daily consumption of a drink containing 1/2 tsp. of diatomaceous earth and 1/2 tsp. of bentonite clay mixed into 2 cups of water
  • Yeast eating probiotics such as Saccharomyces boulardii, consumed separately from daily meals
  • An antifungal protocol that includes olive leaf extract, grapefruit seed extract, oregano, and other herbs. Mt. Capra’s CapraCleanse is his preferred brand. CandaCleanse for candida and CapraSite for parasites
  • A diet that restricts sugar, refined carbohydrates, white rice, gluten, dairy, fried foods, fruit, fruit juices, foods made with yeast (bread, pasta, and crackers), alcohol, mushrooms, cheese, peanuts, pistachios, and meats from animals that have been exposed to antibiotics
  • Evaluation of your personal environment and diet for the presence of mold and mycotoxins
  • You can eat all vegetables (particularly onion and garlic if you don’t have FODMAP sensitivities), meats not treated with antibiotics, eggs, gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and millet, coconut milk, coconut butter, teas, olive oil, bone broth, nuts, and most beans provided they have been soaked and rinsed
  • Test your candida progress with a urine pH strip the first and second time you pee each morning. Look for values between 6.8-7.2 to see indications of recovery. Also a organic acids test (5-hydroxymethyl-2-furoic, and Furan 2,5-dicarboxylic acid can indicate gut fungal issues)
  • Detox juice:
    • 1 inch of ginger, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1/2-3/4 cup of water
    • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
    • Liquid stevia (optional)
    • Place ginger, garlic, and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to boil. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixture. You can transfer it to a blender and blend for a minute.

7. Insufficient Stomach Acid:

Heartburn is paradoxically caused by inadequate HCl production (hypochlorhydria) and is often combined with bacterial overgrowth, a lack of digestive enzymes, and excessive carbohydrate intake. HCl sterilizes food in your stomach, helps protein digestion and absorption of minerals and vitamins, and it even signals the release of digestive enzymes and bicarbonate from your pancreas. Providing undigested food for bacterial and fungal overgrowth and possible immune disruption by passing through damaged intestinal walls.

You can diagnose low stomach acid levels from complete blood counts and comprehensive metabolic panels. Your chloride should be less than 100, and CO2 should be greater than 27. You can also do an at home baking soda test. Mix 1/4 tsp. of baking soda into 1/2-3/4 cup of water. Drink the baking soda solution before eating or drinking anything else and time how long it takes you to burp. If you don’t burp within 5 minutes, you aren’t producing enough stomach acid. However, if you get heartburn after a meal (particularly a high protein one), your HCl is probably low.

Low HCl Protocol:

  • Add crushed raw garlic to your diet (or allicin supplements)
  • Sprout, soak, and/or ferment grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts to improve digestibility
  • Increase your fiber intake and encourage healthy bowel movements by adding a daily handful of dried prunes or ground flax or chia seeds
  • Consume 2-3 tbsp. of extra-virgin coconut oil, a day. MCTs are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, etc.). Also avoid soda, alcohol, wheat and gluten, peanuts, shellfish. excessive caffeine, artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, nitrites (processed meats), MSG, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, deep fried foods, fast food, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers)
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals because it is easier to digest small meals until the HCl problem is fixed
  • Do not eat before bed, and maintain an upright position for about 45 minutes after eating
  • Do not drink ice water as it can reduce HCl production
  • Take half a capsule of HCl with pepsin immediately before eating
  • Consume 1-2 servings of organic bitters or a bitter supplement before a meal
  • Consume a tbsp. of fermented vegetable before a meal
  • Consume 1-2 cups of bone broth, a large 8–12-ounce glass of chia seed slurry or 1-2g of L-glutamine each day

8. Other Food Intolerances or Sensitivities:

A combination of the following six factors can also create other food intolerances:

  • A lack of the chemicals or enzymes necessary to digest a certain food
  • Malabsorption, which is an inability of the digestive system to absorb specific nutrients
  • A negative reaction to a normal amount of a substance, usually some type of pharmacological compound, like a food additive, preservative, or coloring
  • An immune antibody response to food that is less serious than a full-blown allergy
  • A toxin present in food from either contamination or mold
  • A psychological reaction to a food associated with a past experience, such as being unable to eat chili without feeling nauseated because of that time you ate chili on a road trip and got carsick

Ways to test for intolerances:

  • Breath testing (undigested fructose through excess hydrogen)
  • Blood sugar (lactose)
  • IgG and IgA test (immunoglobulin levels for protein-based food)
  • Cyrex Labs food insensitivity test
  • Food elimination diet:
    • Get rid of potential triggers for 7-10 days after doing a week-long food diary to look for triggers
    • Try to keep isolated foods the same. If you are testing for dairy intolerance, you could test with cottage cheese, sour cream, or milk, but not ice cream, because ice cream contains sugar and other ingredients that may skew the result
    • If no reaction occurs after 48-72 hours, you can move on to the next food group. If there is a reaction, you should wait 2-3 days to heal and clear the intestines, and then try the next food
    • When you find the foods that cause you distress, either avoid them or take enzyme supplements to break them down.
    • Follow the guidelines of The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook

9. Food Allergies:

Allergic reactions can range between hives, a severe drop in blood pressure, dermatitis, gastrointestinal and/or respiratory distress, anaphylactic shock, and even life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in which the throat swells and closes. You can get IgE tests online from companies like DirectLabs. You should really consult a medical professional if you suspect something as serious as an allergy.

10: Mold and Mycotoxin Exposure:

Mold and mycotoxins can aggravate gut issues by having a direct inflammatory effect on the stomach and intestinal lining and can cause gastric pain, heartburn, diarrhea, and constipation. The inflammation can weaken the tight junctions in the lining of the gut, allowing entry of foreign proteins to which the immune system can make antibodies, causing food allergies and autoimmune diseases.

The Bottom Line

  1. Test your gut
  2. Alter your diet and use targeted nutritional supplements based on your test results
  3. Manage stress as much as possible, since stress can exacerbate gut issues

How to Optimize Your Nutrition to You

All diets likely have merit, but only in some individuals. Most diets apply a one-size-fits-all approach that paints an entire population with a broad nutritional brush without considering genetics; personal health history; nutrient, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies that need to be addressed; and biochemical individuality.

The Ketogenic Diet

Long-term adherence to a high-fat diet nearly doubles the human body’s fat-burning capacity, both at rest and during exercise, without harming performance. Although, high LDL cholesterol, rampant inflammation, and inflated triglyceride levels have been seen. Metrics often accompanied by anxiety, joint pain, gastrointestinal discomfort, general malaise or fatigue, and poor physical performance.

Many people have problems metabolizing and utilizing fat that aren’t related to clinical conditions or missing nutrients but are instead variations in the genes that encode for fat metabolism.

If you have one of the 4 following genetic factors, you may not respond well to a high-fat diet:

Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

Affects up to 10% of the population. Their cholesterol and inflammatory biomarkers increase dramatically in response to foods like coconut oil, butter, fatty fish, red meat, and eggs. Associated with chest pain during activity, fatty deposits around the knees, elbows, and butt, cholesterol levels high enough to be a true cardiovascular risk factor, and cholesterol deposits around the eyelids.

A very high LDL cholesterol (typically above 300mg/dL)

Get a 23andMe test and look for:

1. TT polymorphism on the CETP gene

2. AT polymorphism on the PCSK9 gene

3. AA or AG polymorphism on the ATOB gene

Take the one gene for the LDL receptor responsible for contributing to this condition and try to bring it up to the expression level that would be found in someone without FH, by maximizing the biological activity of thyroid hormone and suppressing the activity of a gene called PCSK9, both of which can be achieved by increasing insulin signaling through frequent movement, the use of insulin-sensitizing herbs and spices, and moderation of processed sugar and starches.

Poor Alpha-Linolenic Acid Conversion:

ALA is an essential fatty acid, because it can’t be made by the body, and is popular amongst vegans and vegetarians because plant sources can be converted into DHA and EPA. However, only 2-10% of all ALA consumed is converted into DHA or EPA. Also, the ALA-converting genes, FADS, can vary widely. One variant of the FADS gene increases conversion, while another decreases it.

The FADS variant that increases it is mostly found in African, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan populations. It is least common in Native Americans and indigenous Arctic populations. Likely due to availability of plant sourced ALA omega-3 fatty acids. The more an ancestral population relied on plant sources of fatty acids, the more the population adapted to convert ALA into useable DHA and EPA and vice versa for the decreasing conversion gene variant.

Upregulated Elongation of Omega-6 Fatty Acids:

Omega-6s are precursors to eicosanoids, which can be pro-inflammatory when consumed in excess. Eicosanoids derived from omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. The process of converting omega-6s into inflammatory compounds is called elongation. Some people have upregulated elongation. If you do, and consume too much linoleic acid from seeds and nuts, it will be converted into arachidonic acid, a precursor to inflammatory compounds. To avoid that, you will need to reduce common ketogenic fat sources high in linoleic acid, such as poultry, eggs, and nut butters or increase your intake of omega-3s from fatty cold-water fish like tuna, mackerel, herring, and sardines.

The Thrifty Gene Hypothesis: FTO and PPAR Variants:

The FTO gene is responsible for regulating body fat and overall weight. Research suggests the FTO gene is the primary genetic factor with weight gain and that environmental factors trigger it. A high saturated fat intake is associated with FTO-induced weight gain, so if you carry either one or two copies of the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism, you will likely do better on a diet low in saturated fat.

The PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor) gene is also associated with weight gain following a high fat intake. The PPAR gamma polymorphism is responsible for regulating fatty acid storage, the uptake of fatty acids, and the growth of new fat cells. Polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-6 arachidonic acid, also activate the PPAR gamma, so if you carry this gene, you would have greater weight loss success limiting your intake of fats.

How to do keto the right way:

Better to have a low-fat, fiber-rich, high carbohydrate diet that replaces the saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, but if you are determined to do a keto diet…

Keto flu (24-48 hours in):

  • Insulin levels drop and this signals the kidneys to flush sodium out of the body. The accompanying loss of muscle glycogen and minerals, along with low insulin levels, can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, muscle cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • T3 and T4 rely upon adequate carbohydrate intake, so as you cut back, levels of T3 and T4 may fall, resulting in brain fog and fatigue.
  • As T3 and T4 hormone levels fall, your cortisol levels rise (glucose being a precious commodity). This can result in irritability and insomnia.

1. Consume Veggies and Take Supplements:

Most vegetables are keto-friendly. Eat broccoli, kale, collard greens, brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, etc. Moderately eat low-glycemic berries such as blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Prebiotics and probiotics, antioxidants like glutathione, turmeric extract, and a multivitamin. Also, microgreens like arugula, Swiss chard, and mustard to help modulate cholesterol levels and lower inflammation. You should also consider the following:

  • Choline, which helps your liver process fat and prevents nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Magnesium, which improves bone health, immune system function, and nerve and muscle function. It also helps cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.
  • Potassium, which is necessary for proper cellular function. It also minimizes cramps, constipation, and muscle weakness.
  • Sodium, which is dumped by your kidneys as insulin levels drop. If you are performing heavy training sessions, you need to maintain sodium levels because you lose a lot through sweat. Sodium reduces fatigue, headaches, and thirst.
  • Creatine, which will allow you to perform high-volume, high-intensity workouts without relying on high levels of muscle glycogen. Carbohydrate sparing effect.

2. Consume More Fats, Especially MCT Oil:

Most fatty acids must travel through your lymphatic system to your heart, muscles, and adipose tissue before entering the liver to be metabolized. MCT oil goes straight to the liver to be immediately metabolized into energy. MCT oil may help you avoid the keto flu. You can add it to your coffee and eat more foods rich in healthy fats, like grass-fed beef, fatty cold-water fish, and eggs. Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil can be drizzled on almost any dish. Just remember to add plants to counter the potential of inflammatory high intake of oils.

MCT coffee will take you out of a fast as it is massive in calories. You also need to eat plenty of veggies later on to avoid the inflammation from long-chain fatty acids from the coconut oil.

3. Implement a Cyclic Ketogenic Approach:

Unless you are using a ketogenic diet to treat Alzheimer’s or epilepsy, you don’t need to stay in ketosis forever. You can go 12-16 hours intermittently fasting or stay keto until an after workout refeed of carbohydrates.

4. Get Good Sleep:

Sleep helps to regulate cortisol levels, which rise as thyroid hormones levels drop in response to carbohydrate restriction. Leptin and adiponectin rise as you sleep, stabilizing appetite ad improving adaptation to a fat-based diet.

5. Perform Light Exercise for a Few Days:

Hard exercise elevates cortisol levels, which would already be elevated from the ketogenic diet. Which can signal insulin to move stores into fat cells, until you adapt to burning fat. Perform light exercises until you adapt. Yoga, sauna, swim, paddleboard, sunshine walks, etc. Performing these in fasted states will improve fat-burning capacities and make the shift to ketosis easier. When you do lift weight again, it should be kept short and intense, rather than high-rep or high-volume.

6. Take Activated Charcoal:

Adipose tissue can act as storage for toxins like molds, BPA, and pesticides. As you burn stored fat, these toxins can be released back into the bloodstream and reabsorbed into the brain and other vital organs. Consuming activated charcoal, which binds to toxins, will help to flush the toxins out.

7. Take Exogenous Ketone Supplements:

Using ketone salts and ketone esters can help to reduce fatigue and boost energy quickly by raising ketone levels in your blood. Helpful for getting through the keto flu.

Carnivore Diet

Very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) protocol, where on relies on meat and meat products, such as dairy and eggs. If you eat exclusively meat, you can disrupt your microbiome due to the lack of fiber and short-chain fatty acids, which your gut bacteria use as fuel to maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Humans on a carnivore diet should consume bone broth, bone marrow, and other cartilaginous sources, to possibly convert them to SCFAs.

Many of the benefits of fiber are attributed to its fermentation by bacteria that produce SCFAs, especially butyrate. However, it seems SCFAs have metabolic processes similar to those of beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). In the presence of a low carbohydrate diet, the liver’s production of BHB may reduce or eliminate the need for butyrate, which is produced by a high-fiber diet. Reducing the need for fibrous vegetables to counteract bloating from eating nuts, seeds, grains, or vegetables.

Since red meat is high in the pro-cancer and pro-aging amino acids cysteine, tryptophan, and methionine, anyone on the carnivore diet should prioritize adequate glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline to balance out the other amino acids and support a strong gut lining. Another good reason to consume bone broth, collagen, glycine, EAAs, and organ meats.

Because there are no plants, the carnivore diet is usually low in vitamin C and E, and if no dairy is included, vitamin K2 and calcium. If no organ meat is consumed, you will likely be low in vitamin A, folate, manganese, and magnesium.

It is hard to find a population that purely eats muscle meat. Those populations that we believe to be carnivorous (several Asian, Latin American, and African tribal cultures) consume the intestines of ruminant animals like goats, sheep, deer, and cows, which contain high amounts of the vegetables and fiber they consumed, e.g. the Spanish zarajos, the Filipino dinuguan, the Korean gopchang, and the Latin American chinchulines.

  • The nomads of Mongolia ate plenty of meat and dairy products, but consumed wild onions and garlic, tubers and roots, seeds, and berries.
  • Gaucho Brazilians consumed mostly beef, but also supplemented their diet with yerba mate, a tea rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
  • The Maasai, Rendille, and Samburu tribes of East Africa primarily consumed meat, milk, and blood, but also occasionally consumed herbs and tree barks. Women and older men consumed ample amounts of tubers, fruit, and honey.
  • The Russian Arctic Chukotka thrived on fish, caribou, and marine animals but always paired these animal foods with local roots, leafy greens, berries, or seaweed.
  • The Sioux of South Dakota at large amounts of buffalo, but also consumed wild fruits, nuts, and seeds.
  • The Canadian Inuit subsisted primarily on walrus, whale meat, seal, and fish, but also foraged wild berries, lichens, and sea vegetables and even fermented many of these plant foods.

If you were to eat a carnivore diet it should consist of nose-to-tail animal consumption, utilizing organ meats, bone marrow, and bone broth, and also:

  • Small amounts of root vegetables and tubers, along with pureed, mashed, or canned pumpkin and sweet potato purees, preferably skipping the skin of these compounds and any excess fibers
  • Homemade fermented yogurt made from coconut milk and the L. reiteri probiotic
  • Raw, organic honey as a sweetener
  • Small, antioxidant-rich, low-sugar berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, lingonberries, and bilberries
  • Bitt, tannin-rich teas and organic coffee
  • Organic dried insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and ants
  • Seeds and nuts, if tolerated by the gut and prepared via ancestral practices like sprouting, fermenting, and soaking
  • Nutrient dense vegetables powders that offer plenty of phytonutrients without excess roughage and fiber
  • 12-16 hour daily intermittent fasts to ensure mTOR pathways aren’t excessively activated

A Plant Based Diet

Omega-6 vegetable oils reduce thyroid function by preventing thyroid hormone from binding to receptors. At first, the thyroid hormone will temporarily increase to compensate for low energy, and you feel good. Because your cells won’t have essential building blocks to run efficiently, your metabolism slows, making weight gain easier, slowing the brain, energy, etc. 6 weeks of feeling great, due to a last ditch attempt from the body to find and catch prey, followed by the crash. However, excess protein can cause inflammation, due to amino acids like methionine causing inflammation (collagen has less). A U-shaped curve for protein.

Daily protein intake: Aim for 0.5g x pounds in lean muscle.

Turning amino acids from protein into energy creates more waste than fat or carbs, and excess protein ferments in the gut and produces ammonia and nitrogen, placing load on the liver and kidneys.

Eat enough protein for tissue and lean muscle repair, energy from fat and carbs, and fiber for bacteria to break down as fatty acids for mitochondria. By restricting protein occasionally, you force the body to recycle proteins and excrete waste products. This can be done by intermittently fasting too.

Certain nutrients can only be acquired via the consumption of animal products. These are:

  • Creatine, which increase muscular power output and enhances cognitive function
  • Vitamin B12, which maintains healthy myelin sheaths to protect neurons
  • DHA, vital for proper cognitive development and cell membrane function
  • Carnosine, which enhances antioxidant activity in the brain to protect it against oxidative damage
  • Taurine, which plays a role in preventing heart disease

Include Eggs and Dairy:

  • Eggs provide long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, including ALA. The best eggs are pastured eggs or from chickens on a diet designed to boost levels of omega-3s. Our bodies absorb and use 50% of the protein from eggs, the highest proportion of all food-based protein sources. Eggs contain high levels of choline, which is necessary for the proper metabolism of fat in the liver, as well as vitamin B12 and retinol, a form of vitamin A that our bodies use far more readily than plant-based vitamin A.
  • Dairy is a potent source of healthy fatty acids, minerals like calcium, and highly bioavailable proteins like whey and casein. If you have dairy insensitivity, try fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, kefir, and hard aged cheese like Pecorino Romano, gouda, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The fermentation process breaks down lactose and adds probiotics and creates new nutrients like vitamin K2, which shuttles calcium into your teeth and bones. Vitamin K2 is critical for heart health and the skeletal system and is notoriously absent in a plant-based diet. You can supplement with 100-200mcg of vitamin K2, per day, along with natto, which goes well with avocado, sea salt, and extra-virgin olive oil for breakfast.

Take Taurine, Creatine, and Carnosine:

  • Taurine is an amino acid that fights free radicals and protects your vision and is crucial for brain development, healthy blood pressure, and blood glucose availability. You can synthesize it from other amino acids, but that is difficult for vegan athletes. You can use vegan taurine powder (1g per day).
  • Creatine plays a crucial role in the production of ATP. Naturally produced from other amino acids, it is found in meat, eggs, and fish, and is commonly deficient in old, active, and plant-based people. Creatine can increase your body’s work capacity and power output while enhancing your lean body mass and physical endurance. It has also been known to support cognitive function, especially in the elderly. Because creatine stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine, it releases energy to aid cellular function during stress. 5g per day, preferably in one or two doses and mixed into warm liquid to maximize absorption.
  • Carnosine is made of the amino acids histidine and alanine. Most carnosine research has shown potential as an antiglycation agent and athletic performance aid. A carnosine deficiency can lead to premature aging, impaired mental health, decreased muscle tone, and vulnerability to certain diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. It is synthesized mostly in brain and muscle tissue in animals. Vegetarians have 50% less than omnivores. The limiting factor is beta-alanine, so if levels are low you can supplement with beta-alanine to increase levels too.

Take Niacin and Thiamine:

Niacin (vitamin B3) deficiency can cause dermatitis, dementia, diarrhea, and death (4 Ds of pellagra). Thiamine (vitamin B1) is necessary for proper neuronal function and digestion. The most effective vegetarian sources are peanuts and sunflower seeds, but the amount you would need to eat would lead to health problems, such as reduced absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium due to high levels of phytic acid. Alternatively, you can eat mushrooms to get your daily niacin (2 cups of portobellos for 75% of your daily niacin).

Consume Algae:

Spirulina and chlorella provide some EPA and DHA, crucial for neuronal growth, cellular function, and cognitive development.

Take Iodine:

Sea vegetables such as nori, kelp, kombu, and dulse. Or you could take liquid iodine (400-1200mcg)

Properly Prepare Grains, Legumes, and Nuts:

Fermentation, soaking, and sprouting

Maximize Iron Absorption:

You can improve iron absorption by consuming vitamin C. Combine foods such as Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, lentils, beans, and quinoa with foods like tomatoes, bell peppers, lemon juice, strawberries, oranges, papaya, kiwis, pineapple, and grapefruit. You should moderate coffee and tea consumption with iron rich foods since they both reduce iron absorption.

Take Vitamin D:

Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, is essential for bone health. Vitamin D2 can be found in plants but it is nowhere near as potent as D3, which is found in fatty fish and dairy products. Diets deficient in vitamin D can suffer from reduced bone mineral density, depressed immune system function, and higher levels of inflammation. 35IU of vitamin D3 per pound of bodyweight per day. This may be tough as a vegan as most supplemental vitamin D3 is derived from wool.

Take Vitamin B12:

Vital for cell division, metabolism, and maintenance of the nervous system. Deficiency can cause weakness, numbness, and an increase in the amino acid called homocysteine that can increase the risk of heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. B12 deficiency can also cause peripheral neuropathy and cognitive impairment, eventually leading to Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Sublingual vitamin B12 spray for fast absorption.

Be Careful with Soy:

Often GMO. Unfermented soy contains digestive irritants and digestive enzyme inhibitors like lectins, phytates, and protease inhibitors. This damage could be reduced by eating the fermented versions, such as miso, tempeh, and natto, but it’s best to avoid unfermented versions, such as edamame, soy milk, and tofu. Soy also contains high levels of goitrogen that prevent your thyroid from using iodine correctly. Consuming heaps of soy could lead to hypothyroidism. Soy also contains plant estrogens in the form of isoflavones, which can raise estrogen levels and reduce testosterone levels. Women with estrogen dominance and men and women with testosterone deficiencies should not eat soy.

Weston A. Price diet basics:

  • Unprocessed whole foods
  • Pasture-fed meats and animal foods like beef, game animals, lamb, poultry, and eggs
  • Wild, non-farm-raised fish, fish eggs, and shellfish
  • Full-fat dairy products from pasture-raised cows. Ideally, these should be raw and/or fermented products like raw milk, yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, raw cheeses, and fresh and sour cream
  • Liberal use of animal or animal-derived fats, including lard, tallow, egg yolks, butter, and cream
  • Traditional oils like extra-virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed sesame oil, and limited amounts of expeller-pressed flaxseed oil, as well as coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil
  • Cod liver oil, enough to provide 10,000 IU of vitamin A and 1,000 IU of vitamin D. It’s less well-known and less popular, but emu oil can also accomplish this
  • Organic fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Soaked, sprouted, or sour-leavened whole grains, legumes, and nuts. These processes eliminate antinutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors
  • Frequent consumption of lacto-fermented fruits, vegetables, drinks, and condiments
  • Homemade beef, chicken, and lamb stocks made with the bones of non-GMO animals, as well as stock made with wild fish
  • Filtered water for both drinking and cooking
  • Unrefined salts and a wide range of herbs and spices
  • Homemade salad dressings made with extra-virgin olive oil, raw vinegar, and limited amounts of expeller-pressed flaxseed oil
  • Moderate use of traditional, natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple sugar, maple syrup, dehydrated cane sugar juice (sold as rapadura sugar), stevia powder, and date sugar
  • Strictly moderate consumption of unpasteurized beer and wine
  • Cooking these foods in cast-iron, stainless-steel, glass, or high-quality enamel pots and pans

The Boundless Diet

No matter which diet you decide to pursue, make sure you adhere to the following principles:

  • Incorporate regular intermittent fasts or longer fasting periods.
  • Ruthlessly eliminate inflammatory foods and control glycemic variability.
  • Rather than engaging in long-term calorie and carbohydrate restriction, occasionally refeed your body with adequate calories and carbohydrates.
  • Occasionally engage in periods of more intense detoxification.
  • Whenever given the option between real food and packaged or processed food, choose the former.
  • Eat a very wide variety of multicolored plants, herbs, and spices.
  • Whenever possible, choose clean, organic, wild, non-GMO foods and ingredients.
  • Whenever possible, eat locally grown in-season foods.

There’s No One Size-Fits-All Diet

Some people can have reactions to oxalates, gluten, gliadin, etc. Some don’t benefit from supplementing with vitamins C, A, or riboflavin, and some can cause harm by supplementing vitamin D. Some people are “over-sulfured”, a concept explored in The Wildatarian Diet, by Teri Cochrane, further aggravated by glyphosate. Typically, sulfur reactions are due to a variation in the CBS gene family, which provides instructions for the enzyme cystathionine beta-synthase, which plays an important role in the breakdown and metabolism of sulfur.

Some signs of sulfur sensitivity are deleterious reactions to garlic, eggs, wine, and dried fruits that have sulfites added to them, along with joint pain, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), IBS, and neurotransmitter imbalances.

Some people have a genetic susceptibility for poor methylation, which results in the body not stopping the production of glutathione, which is usually triggered when the body detects there is enough and stops via methylation.

Wild to Eat, by Robb Wolf: The capacity to extract energy from food differs from person to person because interactions between one’s genes, microbiome, diet, environment, and lifestyle are complex. Such as an individual’s blood sugar response to certain foods.

How to Customize Your Diet

  • Blood Testing: Detect blood sugar responses to certain foods, mineral status, thyroid status, cholesterol status, red and white blood cell levels, vitamin B levels, acidity, alkalinity, and vitamin D status. He recommends the Longevity Panel.
  • Stool Testing: Bacteria, yeast, fungi, parasites, and digestive inflammation to see what probiotics or cleansing compounds to take, and what fermentable substances and starches to avoid. Viome at home tests or Genova Diagnostics GI Effects or Diagnostics Health GI MAP stool panel.
  • Microbiome Stool Testing: Viome can identify what metabolites your microbes produce and the role of these metabolites in your body’s ecosystem. They can then recommend probiotics and foods to fine-tune the function of your gut microbiome to minimize harmful microbes and increase the growth of beneficial ones.
  • Saliva Testing: 23andMe DNA testing and then upload the data to MyHeritage, StrateGene, or Genetic Genie to interpret the results. Found My Fitness also do this.
  • Urine Testing: Organic amino acids evaluation is an option for identifying nutritional deficiencies that can add up over time, e.g., a drop in uric acid excretion may indicate painful gout in later years. You can detect organic acids, fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants via an in-home urinalysis and blood-drop test. DUTCH urine test is one that can get an analysis of testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, melatonin, DHEA, and other hormones.
  • Exercise Testing: A resting metabolic rate can be calculated by analyzing the amount of oxygen your body uses and the amount of CO2 it produces. Also, how many calories you burn at any given heart rate. Then you can work out caloric intake to maintain a healthy body weight and perform at peak capacity. Metabolic testing.

Recovery Diets


The diets in this section are extremely clean eating protocols designed to reboot and reset your entire body, especially the gut. These are somewhat restrictive plans that I do not necessarily recommend following for life, unless you have a serious condition such as celiac or Crohn’s disease or severe food allergies.

If you’ve been eating a diet or living a lifestyle that has caused gut damage, inflammation, sugar dependency, or similar gut problems, I recommend that you follow any of the diets in this section for a minimum of four to eight weeks prior to progressing to an intermediate plan. If you have more serious gut issues, autoimmune symptoms, or a condition like dysbiosis, stick to this type of diet until symptoms subside, which can take three to six months (in the case of the GAPS diet, it is recommended that you follow it for up to two years to fully heal a leaky gut). If you need to detox or cleanse at any point throughout the year, you can return to these diets—for example, you can perform a one-to-two-week liver cleanse in the spring and winter or follow an Elemental Diet for the first thirty days of each year.

Autoimmune Paleo Diet (AIP):

Also known as the Paleo autoimmune protocol, the AIP diet is a much stricter version of the Paleo diet (which is based on meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, and seeds).

It eliminates dairy, grains, eggs, nightshades, legumes, and other foods that may cause inflammation in people with a leaky gut.

Leaky gut can lead to an autoimmune response in which your own immune system tags your tissues, such as your eyes or your nervous system, with certain types of antibodies. This falsely signals to your immune system that those tissues are foreign invaders, and your immune system then attacks those tissues. Each autoimmune disease also has markers specific to that condition.

By focusing on nutrient-rich foods and avoiding inflammatory ones, the AIP diet aims to heal inflammation and any holes in the gut.

People who follow the AIP diet should typically follow it strictly for four to eight weeks and then slowly reintroduce foods that they have been avoiding. I recommend following this plan if you’ve completed any food allergy panels such as Cyrex’s and discovered that you have sensitivities to wheat, soy, gluten, dairy, or eggs, or if you’ve tested your gut and know you have inflammation.

It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of autoimmunity listed in the table. The best book to accompany this diet is The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook by Mickey Trescott.

After you’ve spent at least four to eight weeks on one of the diets in this section, the Wahls Protocol (outlined in the intermediate section later in this section) is also an excellent diet for managing autoimmunity.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• Sm/RNP antibodies (Smith/ribonucleoprotein)
• SS-A and SS-B antibodies (Sjogren’s-syndrome-related antigens A and B)
• Scl-70 antibodies (scleroderma-70)
• Jo-1 antibodies (John P.-1)
• centromere B antibodies
• ribosomal P antibodies
• high aluminum
You can order autoimmune blood tests online through Quest Diagnostics, such as their Inflammatory Bowel Disease Differentiation Panel, ANCA Screen, and Lactoferrin Quantitative Immunoassay.

Urine Test:

• proteinuria (high protein levels in urine)
• hematuria (blood in urine, which may or may not be visibly detectable)
• active sediment (red or white blood cell casts in urine)
You can ask your doctor or medical provider to perform a urinalysis that includes these markers, or order the Urinalysis, Complete with Microscopic Examination online through DirectLabs. An Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut) Kit by Genova can indicate whether you have a leaky gut.

Stool Test:

• calprotectin (a protein released by neutrophils that can indicate inflammation)
• imbalances in gut microbiota (research suggests that commensal bacteria can play a role in the pathology of autoimmune diseases)
You can request a calprotectin stool test from your doctor or medical provider as well as a comprehensive stool analysis to analyze gut levels of commensal bacteria. You can also order a comprehensive stool analysis through labs such as the Great Plains Laboratory and Genova Diagnostics.

Genes Test:

There are over 1,000 gene variants associated with susceptibility to autoimmunity, but important ones to look at or ask your medical practitioner about are these:
• PI3K
• CD25 deficiency
• STAT3 and STAT1 gain-of-function
• IL-10 deficiency
• STING gain-of-function
• PLCG2 gain-of-function
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMy Fitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.


• inflammation
• fatigue
• muscle aches
• difficulty concentrating
• hair loss
• rashes

Specific Carbohydrate Diet

The SCD is a gluten-free and grain-free diet and was a popular treatment for celiac disease decades before gluten was even discovered. I recommend you follow this plan if you have IBD, IBS, bloating, gas, or gut inflammation, particularly if these issues are brought on by gluten or grain consumption. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of inflammation and celiac disease listed in the table. The best book to accompany the SCD program is Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• autoantibodies
• tissue transglutaminase antibodies
• total serum IgA (immunoglobulin A)
You can order a blood test that checks for these markers through your physician. If you prefer to order them yourself online, DirectLabs offers tests for tissue transglutaminase and IgA, and Quest Diagnostics offers tests for tissue transglutaminase and total IgA.

Urine Test:

• red urine
• proteinuria
• hematuria
The Urinalysis, Complete with Microscopic Examination from DirectLabs can determine proteinuria and hematuria, and you can typically determine whether your urine is red just by looking at it. Red urine is frequently caused by hematuria. An Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut) Kit by Genova can indicate whether you have a leaky gut.

Stool Test:

• foul-smelling stool
• fatty stool
• diarrhea
These markers are pretty obvious (fatty stool is indicated by excess bulk and a pale, oily appearance, and often coincides with a particularly awful odor), but you can also order a stool test through labs like Great Plains Laboratory and Genova Diagnostics.

Genes Test:

You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMy Fitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such asBob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company , or Health Nucleus.


• abdominal discomfort
• bloating
• gas
• gastritis
• skin rashes
• nausea
• vomiting
• nerve damage (manifesting as nerve tingling)
• fluid retention
• fatigue

Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) Diet

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, a neurologist and nutritionist, developed the GAPS diet based on the SCD; like the SCD, it removes potentially problematic foods, particularly grains and gluten-containing foods, but it also focuses on adding healing, nutrient-dense foods. If you have cognitive issues, irritation, brain fog, or nervous system–based problems affected by the gut, such as ADD/ADHD, this is a good diet to follow. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of leaky gut or ADD/ADHD listed in the table. The best book to accompany the GAPS diet is Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Campbell-McBride.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• antibodies associated with large proteins from foods like dairy, grains, shellfish, and nuts, and the proteins themselves (a Cyrex lab test can identify these)
• high levels of zonulin (the compound that controls intestinal permeability )
• high LPS (lipopolysaccharides)
There is a new blood test based on blood cell membrane potential that may indicate ADHD by testing y our MPR ratio. You can order this blood test through your physician. A Cyrex food allergy panel (especially Array 10C) is excellent for identifying antibody reactions to specific food proteins.

Urine Test:

• proteinuria
The urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio indicates if you have proteinuria. You can also order a urine test for proteinuria through your doctor or online through DirectLabs. An Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut) Kit by Genova can indicate whether you have a leaky gut.

Stool Test:

• zonulin
• alpha-1-antitrypsin
• increased levels of colonic gram-negative Enterobacteriales
• reduced levels of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (although some recent evidence suggests that excessive levels of Bifidobacterium may contribute to ADHD)
You can order a stool test through your doctor or purchase a Microbiology Analysis online through Genova Diagnostics.

Genes Test:

• the NOD2/CARD15 genetic mutation 3020insC (leaky gut, ADD/ADHD)
• the ATG16L1 (autophagy-related 16 like 1) polymorphism rs2241880 (leaky gut, ADD/ADHD)
• the IRGM (immunity -related GTPase M) polymorphisms rs13361189 and rs4958847 (leaky gut, ADD/ADHD)
• the 7-repeat allele of the 48-base pair of the VNTR section of the DRD4 gene (ADD/ADHD)
• the rs27072 poly morphism of the SLC6A3 gene (ADD/ADHD)
• the rs1611115 poly morphism of the DBH gene (ADD/ADHD)
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMyFitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.


• irritable bowel syndrome
• gastric ulcers
• food allergies
• small intestine bacterial overgrowth
• infectious diarrhea
• Crohn’s disease
• ulcerative colitis
• other autoimmune diseases
• a propensity to gain weight
• lack of focus
• low motivation
• difficulty with organization
• avoidance of activities that require sustained attention
• forgetfulness

Swiss Detox Diet/Colorado Cleanse

Both the Swiss Detox Diet, developed by Dr. Thomas Rau, and the Colorado Cleanse, developed by Dr. John Douillard, are comprehensive approaches to healing and detoxifying the gut, liver, and gallbladder. Both these programs are simple and consist of foods such as kitchari, olive oil, and celery juice. If you need a liver or gallbladder cleanse, these protocols work well, and they can also be used as seven-to-fourteen-day jump-starts for any of the other diets in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced sections. They’re good choices if you have any of the indicators of liver or gallbladder issues listed in the table. The best books to read to better understand the protocols and get more recipes are Dr. Thomas Rau’s The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health and Dr. John Douillard’s Colorado Cleanse, Eat Wheat, and Body, Mind, and Sport.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• low or high levels of alanine transaminase
• low or high levels of aspartate transaminase
• low or high levels of alkaline phosphatase
• low or high levels of bilirubin
• low or high levels of albumin
• low or high levels of gamma-glutamyl transferase
• high white blood cell count
• abnormal liver enzyme counts
Abnormal liver enzyme levels can indicate gallbladder inflammation resulting from gallstones. You can get a blood test that analyzes these markers through your doctor or order a Liver Profile, Complete from DirectLabs or a White Blood Cell (WBC) Count from LabCorp.

Urine Test:

• dark urine
• bilirubin
• urobilinogen
• abnormal levels of the enzymes amylase and lipase
You can order a urinary test through your doctor or use urine test strips easily available online to test for liver damage markers such as bilirubin and urobilinogen.

Stool Test:

• pale or clay -colored stool (indicating low liver bile production or blocked liver bile ducts)
• bloody or tar-colored stool (indicating potential liver failure)
• yellow stool (indicating excessive bilirubin production)
• higher levels of proteobacteria than Firmicutes (ty pes of gut bacteria that can indicate nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
• fatty stool
• bile acid diarrhea (may indicate liver or gallbladder dysfunction)
Some of these issues are detectable just by examining your stool’s color, but to test for imbalanced gut bacteria and excess bile, you can also order the Genova Diagnostics Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis from your doctor or online from DirectLabs.

Genes Test:

• the rs58542926 variant of the TM6SF2 gene
• the rs2228603 variant of the NCAN gene for increased risk of NAFLD
• the rs1799945 variant of the HFE gene for hereditary hemochromatosis (excessive iron absorption) and subsequent liver cirrhosis or liver failure
• the rs20417 variant of the PTGS2 gene for increased risk of gallbladder cancer
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMyFitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.


• jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
• abdominal pain, especially in the mid and upper-right section of the abdomen
• swelling of the abdomen, legs, and ankles
• vomiting
• itchiness
• loss of appetite
• fever
• chills
• nausea
• chronic fatigue

The Elemental Diet

Should you need to pull out all the stops to manage gut inflammation, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), candida, yeast, fungus constipation, FODMAP sensitivities, or leaky gut, or if you simply want to push the reset button on digestion altogether, you can spend two to four weeks on an elemental diet. It’s a good choice if you have the indicators of SIBO or FODMAP sensitivities.

The elemental diet is the simplest and, admittedly, most boring of all the beginner diet options. It involves consuming only a meal replacement powder for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a few extra oils, fats, and amino acids for added nutrients. For your meal replacement drink, I recommend one or two servings of Thorne’s Mediclear SGS. For each shake, I recommend that you add 10–20 g essential amino acids, along with a teaspoon or tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and MCT or coconut oil.

Most of my clients who follow this diet have had the best success blending the meal replacement powder with organic bone broth. I personally prefer this approach, and I add ice and vanilla-flavored liquid stevia so that each meal is like a giant bowl of ice cream. Should you want more variety, you can include soups, broths, and steamed vegetables in your evening meal. To learn more about the elemental diet, I recommend Dr. Allison Siebecker’s website,

A note on testing for SIBO and FODMAPs sensitivity: SIBO on its own won’t necessarily show up in a blood test. Instead, one of the most common tests for SIBO is a breath test, which measures the amount of gas produced by the bacteria. You can order this test online through QuinTron Breath Testing and perform it in the comfort of your own home. This test also evaluates your sensitivity to lactose and fructose, both of which are common FODMAPs.

Two other relatively accurate SIBO tests are the Organix Dysbiosis test, which tests urine for signs of yeast and bacteria in the small intestine, and a stool analysis such as the Genova GI Effects panel, which can show elevated levels of all bacteria, a result that can be indicative of SIBO.

While looking at symptoms is important, constipation and diarrhea are symptoms of both FODMAP sensitivity and a host of other gastrointestinal problems, so when considered by themselves, these may not indicate FODMAPs sensitivity. It’s more effective to look at the results of multiple types of tests, such as a breath test, and a stool test and urine test. Or, in the case of FODMAPs, you can simply eliminate the major triggers from your diet and observe how you feel.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• anti-CdtB antibody (indicator of IBS, which can be linked to FODMAPs)
• anti-vinculin antibody (indicator of IBS, which can be linked to FODMAPs)
A food-sensitivity test and blood panel test for food particles could together indicate SIBO. Cyrex Labs offers food-sensitivity blood panels, such as the Array 10, Array 10-90, and Array 10-90x, as well as the Array 2 Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen. Just note that if you test positive for one of these panels, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have SIBO, especially if you lack other markers and symptoms.
You can order the IBSchek Blood Test for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which can indicate FODMAPs sensitivity, through Commonwealth Diagnostics International.

Urine Test:

SIBO (but may point to other GI problems as well)
• indican
• high concentration of drug metabolites
• conjugated para-aminobenzoic acid

FODMAP sensitivity
• histamines (however, there aren’t established levels that indicate sensitivity )
• p-hydroxy benzoic acid
• azelaic acid

Currently, there are no comprehensive urine panels that test for all the metabolites listed above, but the Organix Dysbiosis profile by Genova Diagnostics will test for many and can be quite useful for getting an overall snapshot of gut health.

Stool Test:

• nasty, horrible-smelling, pale, and oily stools
• fecal Reg 1β
• fecal calprotectin
You can order a quantitative Fecal Fat test through LabCorp.

Genes Test:

• There are no well-known genetic markers that predict or contribute to SIBO or FODMAP problems, but research suggests genotypes that contribute to underproduction of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN) may be associated with IBS-related SIBO.
A full microbiome analysis through Viome or Onegevity can tell you if you possess genes linked to high levels of methane-producing bacteria, which often go hand in hand with SIBO.


• abdominal bloating
• gas
• abdominal pain
• food allergies or intolerances
• brain fog
• constipation
• diarrhea

FODMAP sensitivity
• gas
• cramping
• depression
• fatigue
• headaches
• brain fog
• constipation
• diarrhea


After following any of the beginner diets for eight to twelve weeks, your gut will be ready for a wider variety of foods. Many of the diets below are low-carbohydrate or ketogenic. This is not because a ketogenic diet is perfect for everyone but because eating carbohydrates throughout the day can lead to blood sugar fluctuations and inflammation, and a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic approach is an excellent way to avoid this.

For athletes, extremely active individuals, and folks with the AMY1 gene variant (which allows them to consume more carbohydrates), I typically add a nightly or weekly carbohydrate refeed to the diets in this section. In a nightly refeed scenario, you eat 50–200 g (depending on your size and activity levels) of safe starches in the form of sweet potatoes, yams, taro, other tubers, parsnips, carrots, beets, rice, or properly prepared (either soaked, sprouted, or fermented) grains. In a weekly refeed scenario, you eat carbs ad libitum (without limit) one day a week, and on that day, carbs typically make up about 40 percent of your daily caloric intake.

The Wahls Protocol (Low-Carb Version)

On the Wahls Protocol, you eat lots of meat and fish, vegetables (especially green, leafy ones), brightly colored fruit like berries, and fat from animal and plant sources (especially omega-3 fatty acids), and you avoid dairy, eggs, grain, legumes, nightshades, and sugar.

The low-carb version of the Wahls Protocol is especially good for managing autoimmune conditions while introducing a bit more variety than AIP.

This diet can also work quite well for those with mast cell issues aggravated by mold and mycotoxins or Lyme, and for those with mitochondrial dysfunction or poor nervous system health overall. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of mast cell/histamine issues or Lyme, mold, or mycotoxin issues listed in the table.

The best book to accompany this meal plan is The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Wahls.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• elevated levels of serum tryptase
Your physician can order a tryptase blood panel online through LabCorp. Lyme disease is tested for via a blood test that detects antibodies that fight the disease, and your physician can also order a Lyme disease antibodies test through LabCorp.

Urine Test:

• N-methylhistamine (the major metabolite of histamine and a sign of both mast cell/histamine and Lyme/mold/mycotoxin issues)
A 24-hour N-methylhistamine test is available online through LabCorp. To test for Lyme disease, you can order the Ceres Lyme Antigen test.

Stool Test:

There are no well-established stool markers for mast-cell-induced histamine problems, Lyme disease, or mold and mycotoxin exposure.

Genes Test:

• -1112C/T polymorphism of the interleukin-13 (IL13) promoter gene (associated with systemic mastocytosis, in which mast cells accumulate in high numbers)
• CYP1A2 and CYP3A4 variations in the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes (indicate greater susceptibility to poisoning via mycotoxin exposure)
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload y our raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMyFitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.


Lyme disease
• severe headaches
• bull’s-eye rash
• neck stiffness
• severe arthritis or joint swelling and pain
• irregular heartbeat
• loss of muscle tone

Mold exposure
• brain fog
• impaired memory, balance, and concentration
• insomnia
• anxiety
• shortness of breath/asthma
• eye irritation
• headache
• fatigue
• skin irritation

Mast cell/histamine issues
• flushing
• urticaria
• diarrhea
• wheezing
• low blood pressure
• shortness of breath
• weight loss
• enlarged lymph nodes

The Plant Paradox Diet

The Plant Paradox diet, developed by Dr. Stephen Gundry, eliminates lectins (a natural plant-based defensive protein that can cause gastric distress in many people and is found in foods such as green beans, lentils, and edamame) and limits sugar and polyunsaturated omega-6 fats. It also limits phytates, which are a source of energy for sprouting seeds; when people eat them in plants (as phytic acid), they bind to nutrients like manganese, iron, and zinc, making them indigestible and increasing your risk of being deficient in those minerals.

The Plant Paradox diet usually starts with a three-day cleanse, wherein you repopulate your gut bacteria with leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, clean protein, and good fats, and then has a second phase in which you eat only from the list of approved foods for at least six weeks. Here, I’ve simplified the diet to skip the two phases and still give you a lectin-free protocol; this version also uses a ketogenic strategy to control blood sugar.

I recommend this diet if you want to eat a rich variety of vegetables but have difficulty digesting them and are sensitive to lectins, phytates, oxalates, and other built-in plant defense mechanisms—it lets you consume a diverse array of plants that are prepared in a manner that makes them easier to digest. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of plant-, legume-, or grain-digesting issues listed in the table.

The best book to accompany this diet is Dr. Stephen Gundry’s The Plant Paradox.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• blood TNF-alpha levels over 3 pg/mL
• adiponectin levels over 16 mcg/mL
• elevated interleukin-6 levels (the ideal range is 2 to 6 pg/mL)
• fasting insulin below 2.5 uIU/mL (the lectin wheat germ agglutinin reduces insulin levels by increasing insulin binding)
• white blood cell count below 5 K/uL
• ferritin under 70 ng/mL for men and under 50 ng/mL for women
• adiponectin levels over 16 ug/mL
• free T3 under 3 nmol/L
Through LabCorp online, your physician can order TNF-alpha, white blood cell (WBC) count, and ferritin tests. Through DirectLabs, you can order adiponectin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin, and free T3 (FT3) tests. Gluten sensitivities can be tested with the Cyrex Array 3X, which tests for a host of blood markers, including a variety of agglutinin- and gliadin-related antibodies. Through LabCorp, you or your physician can order tests for iron, zinc, and manganese—all of which may be low if you’re consuming too many phytates, which prevent them from being absorbed. In addition, Cyrex has a host of panels that are highly accurate for food protein sensitivities, particularly their arrays 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12.

Urine Test:

There are no well-established urinary markers or tests for lectin sensitivities, although research suggests that IgA nephropathy may be correlated with lectins found in wheat (but that requires a kidney biopsy to investigate!). There are also no urinary tests for gluten sensitivity , but the Gluten Detective test (available online) can determine whether you have consumed gluten within the previous 24 hours that’s not being properly digested. If you eat gluten and some of it doesn’t get digested, metabolites of it will eventually end up in your urine, so this test is helpful for determining compliance with a gluten-free diet and an inability to properly digest gluten. There are no publicly available urinary tests that determine if you are consuming high levels of phytic acid.

Stool Test:

• diarrhea
• creatinine, lactulose, and mannitol levels (may indicate increased intestinal permeability )
While there are no well-established stool tests for lectin sensitivity, there are stool tests for IBS and IBD, and if you have these, a lectin-elimination diet may improve symptoms. Genova Diagnostics offers an Intestinal Permeability Assessment. LabCorp offers a Calprotectin, Fecal test that screens for Crohn’s disease, and DirectLabs offers IBStatus, a comprehensive look at the overall health of your gastrointestinal tract. Celiac disease can be tested by measuring the levels of fat in your stool. Your doctor can order this test, or you can get LabCorp’s Fecal Fat, Quantitative test. There are no well-established stool tests for excess phytic acid consumption.

Genes Test:

• the rs1049353 variant of the CNR1 gene
• the rs1801133 and rs1801131 variants of the MTHFR gene
• the rs4680 variant of the COMT V158M gene
• all variants of the SOD2 gene
• the rs9891119 variant of the STAT3 gene
• the rs10758669 variant of the JAK2 gene
• the rs2395185, rs10484554, rs3135388, and rs3135391 variants of the MHC gene
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMyFitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.


General concerns
• irritable bowel syndrome
• Crohn’s disease
• colitis

Problems digesting lectins
• brain fog
• systemic inflammation
• abdominal pain or discomfort
• nausea

Problems digesting gluten
• bloating
• abdominal pain or discomfort
• headaches
• fatigue
• diarrhea
• constipation
• skin rashes

Mineral deficiencies due to phytates
• paleness (iron deficiency)
• dizziness (iron deficiency)
• dry hair and skin (iron deficiency)
• restless legs (iron deficiency)
• anxiety (iron deficiency)
• headaches (iron deficiency)
• fatigue (iron deficiency)
• diarrhea (zinc deficiency)
• hair loss (zinc deficiency)
• poor immune function (zinc deficiency)
• loss of appetite (zinc deficiency)
• impaired glucose tolerance (manganese deficiency)
• low fertility (manganese deficiency)

The Mediterranean Diet (Low-Carb Version)

The Mediterranean diet is a plant- and omega-3-rich diet that is prevalent in many longevity hot spots and Blue Zones (although it is possible that the diet’s positive health effects may also be caused by lifestyle factors such as fasting, seasonal eating, social meals, high intake of tannin-rich beverages and wild plants, and limited meat consumption).

The ketogenic diet is also prevalent in many hunter-gatherer and healthy ancestral populations and has been shown not only to induce effective weight loss but also to improve several cardiovascular risk parameters.

A ketogenic Mediterranean diet merges the well-known beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet with the positive metabolic effects of a ketogenic diet. This approach can be particularly effective for managing cardiovascular conditions and improving heart health, along with overall health and longevity. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of cardiovascular issues listed in the table.

An excellent book to accompany this plan is The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet by Robert Santos-Prowse.

In addition to those outlined in the table, helpful tests for cardiovascular issues include a resting and exercise ECG, an echocardiogram, an MRI or CT scan, and a calcium scan score.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• abnormally high levels of cardiac troponins (indicates damage to the heart muscle)
• high levels of hs-CRP (indicates inflammation and an increased risk of cardiac events)
• high levels of B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and N-terminal-pro-BNP (indicates probable congestive heart failure)
• elevated levels of lipoprotein phospholipase A2 (known to promote atherosclerosis)
Your physician can order tests for all these markers online through LabCorp.

Urine Test:

• high levels of urinary protein and blood (indicates kidney damage, which, in turn, often causes high blood pressure)
Through LabCorp you can order a urinary Protein Total Quantitative test and Urinalysis, Routine with Microscopic Examination on Positives.

Stool Test:

There are no well-established stool tests for determining cardiovascular disease or predicting cardiovascular events.

Genes Test:

• the rs429358 and rs7412 variants of the APOE gene (predict hyperlipoproteinemia, the accumulation of excess lipids and cholesterol in the blood)
• the rs2200733 variant of the PITX2 gene (predicts atrial fibrillation, irregular heartbeat)
• the rs8055236 variant of the CDH13 gene (predicts coronary artery disease, the blockage of coronary arteries)
• the rs1746048 variant of the CXCL12 gene (predicts heart attacks)
• the rs1051730 variant of the CHRNA3 gene (predicts peripheral arterial disease, the blockage of arteries to your limbs)
• the rs1801133 variant of the MTHFR gene (predicts venous thrombosis, blood clotting)
• the rs7961152 variant of the BCAT1 gene (predicts hypertension)
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, My Heritage, or Genetic Genie to determine if you carry any of these variants.


• chest pain, pressure, or tightness
• shortness of breath
• nausea
• fatigue
• faintness
• cold sweats
• pain in the back, left shoulder, jaw, elbows, or arms
• fluttering in the chest
• racing heartbeat
• pale gray or blue skin
• swelling in the abdomen, legs, hands, ankles, feet, and around the eyes


Although any of the intermediate meal plans can be followed indefinitely as a diet for life, I am a big fan of a more widely varied diet, especially if your gut is healthy and weight loss isn’t your primary goal. If your blood glucose and inflammation are under control; your other labs, blood, and biomarkers look good; your body weight is where you want it to be; you’ve achieved full-body wellness and want to enjoy and experiment with as many foods as possible and even try eating according to your ancestry, any of the strategies from this section will work for you.

The Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is flexible and can be adapted for your specific needs, but it essentially cuts out modern agricultural foods that can cause an inflammatory reaction in many people and focuses on foods that our Paleolithic ancestors would likely have eaten, depending on seasonal availability.

The standard Paleo diet includes meat (especially organ meats like liver and kidneys, bone broth, and marrow); high-quality animal fats; seafood; eggs (ideally pasture-raised); non-starchy vegetables; low-glycemic-index fruits like berries, citrus, and stone fruits; coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil; nuts and seeds; and herbs and spices.

The inflammatory foods excluded from the Paleo diet include grains like wheat, barley, oats, corn, and rice; dairy; refined sugar; processed foods; and vegetable oils (such as soybean, peanut, corn, and canola oils). Foods that are eaten in moderate amounts (if they are well-tolerated) include legumes like lentils and chickpeas and nightshades such as tomatoes, white potatoes, red potatoes, and peppers.

This diet would be very appropriate for someone sensitive to grains, legumes, and dairy who wants to expand their diet beyond AIP. Some research even suggests that type 2 diabetes may improve with a Paleo diet. This is because insulin resistance may be caused by inflammation, and the Paleo diet eliminates common inflammatory foods. It’s a good choice if you have any of the indicators of dairy sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, or gut inflammation listed in the table.

An excellent book on the Paleo diet is The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf.

A note on dairy: You can consume dairy on a Paleo diet if you tolerate it well and it comes from grass-fed cows, which produce milk that is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and lower in inflammatory omega-6s. Grain-fed cows absorb gut-irritating lectins from their feed that are then concentrated in their milk, which can contribute to inflammation in people who consume that milk. Ideally, any milk consumed on a Paleo diet (or, in my opinion, any other diet) should be A2 milk, which has more A2 than AI casein—A1 casein can produce significant gut inflammation in many individuals. The casein concentrations vary among different breeds of cows, with some breeds—such as Guernsey and Jersey cows—having very little to no A1 casein.

You may want to follow if you have…

Blood Test:

• lactose- or dairy -related antibodies (indicates dairy or lactose sensitivities)
• markers for autoimmune diseases
• bacterial cytotoxins and cytoskeletal proteins (associated with gut inflammation)
Cy rex offers the Array 10, Array 10-90, and Array 10-90X, which test for sensitivities to different forms of dairy , like goat’s milk, hard and soft cheeses, and yogurt. LabCorp offers the Allergen Profile, Milk, IgE with Component Reflexes, which tests for sensitivity to cow’s milk.
Cyrex has five panels that screen for autoimmune disorders: the Array 5, 6, 7, 7X, and 8. For gut inflammation, Cyrex also offers an irritable bowel/SIBO screen that tests for bacterial cytotoxins and cytoskeletal proteins.

Urine Test:

• proteinuria (may indicate an autoimmune disorder)
• hematuria (may indicate an autoimmune disorder)
• active sediment (may indicate an autoimmune disorder)
There are no well-established urine tests for dairy sensitivities, specific autoimmune disorders, or gut inflammation. However, DirectLabs offers a Urinalysis, Complete with Microscopic Examination, which measures the general markers for autoimmune disorders.

Stool Test:

• lactic acid in stool (a sign of undigested, unabsorbed lactose in the gut)
• fecal calprotectin (indicates gut inflammation, which may indicate an autoimmune disorder)
• lactoferrin (indicates gut inflammation, which may indicate an autoimmune disorder)
LabCorp offers a pH, Stool test that screens for acidity in stool. DirectLabs offers a Calprotectin, Stool test that may indicate an autoimmune disorder such as Crohn’s, celiac, lupus, or ulcerative colitis. LabCorp offers a Lactoferrin, Fecal, Quantitative test for gut inflammation.

Genes Test:

If you lack these gene variants, it’s likely you’re genetically predisposed to be lactose intolerant:
• the rs4988235 and rs182549 variants of the MCM6 gene in those of European ancestry
• the rs1459469881 variant of the MCM6 gene in those of sub-Saharan African ancestry
• the rs41380347 and rs41525747 variants of the MCM6 gene (regardless of ancestry )
You can order a genetic test through 23andMe, then upload your raw data into a genetic analysis tool like StrateGene, Genetic Genie, FoundMyFitness, or My Heritage. You can also get a more comprehensive analysis through services such as Bob Miller’s TreeOfLife, The DNA Company, or Health Nucleus.

Genes related to ulcerative colitis:
• the rs76418789 variant in the IL23R gene
• the rs4728142 variant in the IRF5 gene
• the rs1830610 variant near the JAK2 gene
• the rs1555791 variant near TNFRSF14
• rs6478108 in TNFSF15


Dairy sensitivity
• diarrhea
• nausea
• vomiting
• gas
• bloating
• abdominal pain
• fatigue
• psoriasis
• rashes
• headaches

• diarrhea
• nausea
• vomiting
• gas
• weight fluctuations
• bloating
• abdominal pain
• fatigue
• headaches
• rashes
• lack of focus and concentration
• swelling and redness
• muscle aches
• hair loss

Gut inflammation
• diarrhea
• gas
• bloating
• abdominal pain
• new food intolerances and allergies
• chronic fatigue
• poor sleep
• weight fluctuations
• heartburn

The Weston A. Price Diet

I talked about the Weston A. Price diet as the ultimate diet for increasing beauty and symmetry and ensuring you eat a full spectrum of fat-soluble vitamins. This diet is the closest representation of the way that my family and I eat, although we vary our selections widely based on what is in season, what I have hunted, what is available at the local farmers market, and where our travels take us.

The best book to read to learn more about this diet is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Follow this diet if you simply like to eat just about everything on God’s green earth, and you’re willing to take the time to prepare it using ancestral methods, including soaking, sprouting, and fermenting.

The Ancestral Diet

Dr. Daphne Miller explained the dietary wisdom of traditional cultures whose diets are specific to their genes and ancestry. In her research for the book, Miller traveled to locations around the world that she identified as “cold spots”, that had a remarkably low incidence of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.

It turned out that many of the traditional cultures in these areas ate whole-foods, Weston A. Price–like diets that were specific to their traditions, ancestry, and local environment. Many cold-spot inhabitants who relocate and switch to a modern Western diet develop the very diseases for which their traditional environments are cold spots!

The following are examples of cold spots and foods frequently eaten in their ancestral diets:

  • Copper Canyon, Mexico (diabetes cold spot): corn, beans, squash, peppers, nopal cactus, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, jicama, nuts, avocados
  • Crete (heart disease cold spot): olive oil, chickpeas, lentils, whole-grain pasta, potatoes, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, fish, red wine, figs, walnuts
  • Iceland (depression cold spot): fish, walnuts, purslane, flaxseed oil, barley, rye, black tea, beans, split peas, potatoes, organic dairy products, omega-3-enriched eggs, wild game, cabbage, bilberries
  • Cameroon, West Africa (colon cancer cold spot): millet, teff, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, okra, plantains, beans, nuts, fish, wild poultry and game, onions, tomatoes, bananas, yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables
  • Okinawa, Japan (breast and prostate cancers cold spot): tofu, tempeh, miso, fish, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brown rice, green tea, sea vegetables, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, watermelons, grapefruit

For more information, read Dr. Miller’s book. Two other very good titles on ancestral eating are Dr. Michael Smith’s Returning to an Ancestral Diet and Stephen Le’s 100 Million Years of Food.

Follow this eating plan if you know your genetics and family history, and you simply want to eat more like your ancestors!

The Ultimate Biohacked Diet

When I have an especially busy day that demands more of me both cognitively and physically, I often fall into what I call the “Ultimate Biohacked Diet.” It blends ancestral foods with modern science, skips lunch, and incorporates a neural-enhancing, nutrient-dense, relatively simple dietary approach consisting of the following groups:

  • Meals: primarily meat, wild-caught fish, bone broth, bitter greens, and wild plants—some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can find
  • Beverages: black and green tea, red wine, and coffee—all chock-full of antioxidants and longevity-enhancing compounds
  • Supplements: exogenous ketones, fish oil, creatine, essential amino acids
  • Nootropics: a micro-dose of psilocybin blended with lion’s mane mushrooms and niacin (a mind-bending, productivity-enhancing, brain-spinning stack made popular by mushroom expert and mycology researcher Paul Stamets)

Here’s how a sample day looks on this diet:

  • Morning supplements: creatine, fish oil, mushroom stack
  • Breakfast: Salmon and dandelion greens with green tea; or sardines or anchovies over mixed greens with green tea; or a green smoothie; or a fatty coffee blended with mushrooms
  • Snack: 1 cup of bone broth; or exogenous ketones and essential amino acids mixed into water
  • Lunch: fasting—black coffee only
  • Pre-workout: 1 cup of bone broth, exogenous ketones, and essential amino acids, or a Kion clean energy bar
  • Dinner: Celebration of a day of hard work with a bone-in, grass-fed, grass-finished rib-eye steak accompanied by red wine and nettle leaves or other wild plants; or, alternatively, salmon on a bed of roasted vegetables. If I worked out, I usually include a serving of a safe starch, such as sweet potatoes, yams, beets, taro, parsnip, or white rice. I’ll often also include hefty doses of Dr. Thomas Cowan’s vegetable powders because they are a fast way to get nutrient-dense plant extracts without much chopping or food prep.
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