Last week I discussed the importance of becoming your own Buddha, without the belly, in your personal nutritional needs. However, finding harmony in what’s become jarring nutritional noise is necessary. Dietary theories are like music. Regardless if you are into pop, alternative, or niche genres, musicians still need to learn the basics such as the arrangement of tones in melodies and the ability to stay on pitch.
With nutrition, similar scientific disciplines exist in balancing the body. On my free “Truce with Food: First Steps” call this Wednesday at 7 p.m, I’ll be revealing the two most important processes for weight loss and wellness. Unless you see a functional medicine doctor, your doctor probably isn’t asking or measuring these functions. So please, come join us. Your body will thank you!
For those in the audience of the Paleo versus Vegan debate, the biggest confusion seems to exist around whether or not animal protein is good or bad. To determine this from a health perspective, the question which arises is, “Is meat inflammatory?” Inflammation is like a smoldering fire in the body that can eventually burn out your organs, blood, skin and everything in between. Its toxicity makes weight loss difficult. It’s the environment where disease thrives. An alkaline body is cool and disease free. One main argument is that meat is acidic, and acidity creates inflammation.
Vegans tend to follow a more new-age genre research that shows meat as inflammatory (studies don’t always control for the animal husbandry process which completely changes the nutritional profile or the studies are largely epidemiological which poses certain limitations). “Paleos” jive with the Classical category arguing meat (raised in its natural environment) is what we are genetically adapted to eat because it’s what we’ve always eaten (exact records of Paleolithic eaters and the role of environmental adaptation is incomplete).
Neither nutritional genre is “right”, but rather a perspective. Because I am trained in dozens of dietary theories, there are multiple ways I evaluate my clients. When it comes to animal protein, one foundational clue is determining someone’s metabolic type. Known as metabolic typing, this theory states that based on our genetics, there are fast, slow and mixed oxidizers. And animal protein affects each differently.
Fast oxidizers burn through food faster. Animal meats with higher fat content work like big wooden logs in their bodies, keeping their fiery metabolism going. Animal meats actually help to alkalize their bodies— I have yet to see one vegan study control for this. While meat is still acidic, fast oxidizers tend to already have a more acidic body environment than slow oxidizers; the acidity of meat actually helps move them closer toward the alkaline side of the alkaline-acidic continuum.
Slow oxidizers are the opposite. Their bodies have a more smoldering-fire metabolism that causes them to burn more slowly through food. They do better on lower protein and fat. They are more likely to thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Small amounts of fish and lower fat meats can still be fine for slow oxidizers but ideally their main fuel source is carbs (vegetables and fruits included), because these foods are more like tree twigs, easy to burn. Meat makes them acidic, not alkaline.
And of course, there are some people who are “mixed” and fall in between. For these people, animal meat can be beneficial.
If you feel great and are eating animal meat today, chances are it’s working for you. If you feel fantastic without it, keep going. I have yet to find someone who feels sick and under par all along and then suddenly, lives longer…with more vitality. The challenge I find in doing this work is 90% of people don’t feel great (and don’t realize it because most people are exhausted, have cravings, etc.) or know what’s possible for how great they could live. I know I didn’t when I started my healing process over six years ago.
Here’s a quiz to learn your metaboli type. It’s important to realize a fast oxidizing/metabolism isn’t necessarily those people who can eat anything and stay thin. This is a huge misconception. So if you are curious about your type, make sure to take the quiz. But like all dietary theories, this theory only reveals so much. And I only discussed animal meats! There’s still soy, dairy, portions and….so much more to proteins. If you really want to understand the nuances of food for you personally, I highly suggest the Truce with Food program. It’s filling up fast.
Remember, you might be genetically predisposed to a certain way of eating but just like music your preferences change from childhood (I couldn’t have cared less about that rumored New Kids on the Block Reunion); you have to also consider your current health condition and emotional state. I’ll be teaching what to consider for your current health conditions on the free call this Wednesday.
But Metabolic Typing is a great starting point for understanding if animal meat works for you. If you take the quiz, I’d love to know in the comments below if you were surprised at your type. Do you disagree with the quiz results? I’m a fast oxidizer/protein type. As I’ve continued to get healthier, I find myself more aligned with the fast oxidizer attributes. Most importantly and welcomed is I don’t care about sweets as much as I used to believe I did. Next week I’ll be tackling not so much the controversial but slandered food: carbs!