It is widely known that Western type diets, consisting of saturated and trans fat, along with refined carbohydrates and processed foods, lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Vasculopathy, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, blood pressure, visceral fat, dyslipidemia obesity are the facts.
Insulin is a metabolic hormone responsible of cellular nourishment. However it can lead to lipogenesis, omental fat growth, that releases inflammatory cytokines like Interleukin 6 (IL6), Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF).
The extra carbs that are stored and not burned can elevate serum triglycerides, while splachnic fat can elevate LDL known as bad cholesterol.
As we age, pancreatic gland doesn’t respond so well to carbohydrates and becomes resistant to insulin. Proteins become glycosylated, like hemoglobin for instance.
Considering also that sarcopenia and muscle wasting occur, due to andropause, we realize that BMR drops, thus caloric and carbohydrate amount have to drop.
It’s preferable to switch into fibrous carbs, like greens and vegetables and choose starchy carbs over simple carbs. Insulin release is much slower and blood sugar levels are controlled, due to their fiber content.
Trans and saturated fatty acids should be substituted by mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids. Fish is plenty in DHA/EPA omega 3 PUFAs, while olive oil is rich in oleic acid omega 9 MUFA.
Generally we have to avoid inflammatory omega 6, found in corn oil, while peanuts contain ARA omega 6, which in small amounts is necessary for inflammatory response.
The problem arises when the ratio between omega 3 vs. omega 6 shifts.
It’s supposed to be 3:1, but in western type diets its 1:6 actually.
ALA coming from flaxseed is also rich in omega 3, able to synthesize some DHA/EPA, however omega 3 coming from fatty fish is superior to plant based omega 3.
DHA/EPA is capable of lowering triglycerides, while it can lead to a better lipidemic profile and ration between liver lipoproteins HDL/LDL.
Same valids for OA omega 9 found in pure virgin olive oil.
Metabolic Syndrome (MS) is characterized by the four following symptoms:
1) Increased waist circumference >95cm
2) Elevated systemic BP (>135/85mm Hg)
3) Insulin resistance (A1C>5.5%)
4) Dyslipidemia (HDL<40, LDL>100, CHOL>200, TRIG>150).
Lack of physical activity (both aerobic and anaerobic), along with poor Western type diet, leads to MD & Diabetes Mellitus 2 (DM2).
Mediterranean diet is by far the best worldwide regarding cardiovascular benefits and cancer prevention, approved by the modern cardiologic society.
Absence of breakfast has showed increased tendency for weight gain, due to increased appetite in following meal.
Blood glucose fluctuations will cost in insulin fluctuations, leading to spikes.
After twelve hours of fasting (dinner to breakfast), insulin sensitivity is high and breakfast seems the most important meal of the day, in order to replenish energy levels.
Brain needs sugar to wake up, while muscles need glycogen to fill up with gas.
Breakfast in etymology means to break the fasting state after night sleep.
During morning awakening, serum cortisol peaks, meaning gluconeogenesis will break down muscles in order to feed brain with glucose. In case we don’t eat, then this process will keep on eating up our muscles.
This is of course the last thing an athlete wants, to sacrify hard earned muscle tissue that will cost him in basal metabolic rate and strength of course.
Insulin will ensure cortisol will be suppressed, while amino acids and glucose will feed up cells and muscles.