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Marty is an engineer who developed an interest in nutrition to better manage his wife’s Type 1 diabetes.
He runs the blog OptimisingNutrition.com and has recently launched NutrientOptimiser.com to automate his approach to nutrition which revolves around optimising nutrient density, insulin load and satiety to suit an individual’s situation and goals.
Welcome everyone to Keto and beyond. My name is Carole Freeman, I’m here with Andre as well and we’ve got Marty Kendall.
You can call me Keto tutor.
Keto tutor, yes. Andre is known as Keto tutor online. Today, our special guest is Marty Kendall, way down in Australia. He is the amazing author, data gatherer at Optimising Nutrition, a fantastic blog. So welcome, welcome Marty.
Thank you Carole, thanks so much for having us on and good to meet you Andre.
Good to meet you too.
Marty, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an engineer by day and I suppose I stumbled into the world of nutrition. My wife is a type one diabetic, and just an ongoing experience of trying to live an optimized life with diabetes. Just seeing her day to day fluctuations and how much food mattered to her, and how it affected her energy levels and her mood and her quality of life. So that’s been an ongoing journey of trying to learn how to improve that and optimize it. About three years ago, I stumbled across the food insulin index data, which was a bit unorganized. I downloaded it and played with it, and reorganized it to really optimize insulin dosing for people with diabetes. So if you’re injecting insulin, we found that it’s not just carbohydrates but also protein has an impact on insulin and the short terminals of fiber has a negative impact on insulin.
So for those people, the food insulin index helps us to prioritize foods that have a lower insulin response over the short term, and also help stabilize blood sugars. So that’s really handy, it’s basically ketogenic in a formula. So that was where I started out. I started sharing that and then stumbled into a whole bunch of other things. I continue to share and learn and blog, and it’s been a really fantastic journey. I made a lot of amazing friends like yourselves and yeah, it’s really, really fascinating and really, really important just because people really struggle. I try to bring a quantitative engineering precision to nutrition to help fine tune, and eek out those challenges for a lot of people finding their nutritional journey.
Excellent, excellent. So insulin, when you said the insulin index is really fascinating. Like you said it’s the key to this whole Keto thing that our people are [inaudible 00:03:03] right? So can you explain a little bit more about why insulin is so important on a ketogenic diet, and in general for weight loss which is what a lot of our listeners are interested in.
It’s a fascinating controversial topic and have been through the challenges, and through the learning process with a lot of people in this ketogenic journey. As I said, what we found is that if you’re injecting insulin and if your pancreas is producing insulin, it produces more for carbohydrates, but half as much for protein and fiber which is indigestible, doesn’t really have an impact. So we subtract that and fat in the short term doesn’t have an impact but in the longer term, it still seems to have some impact whether it’s as much as carbohydrates, not sure but over the longer term, it still has some impact. So then I suppose what we’ve realized more recently is the energy balance still matters to a degree, but the people who have blood sugars that are fluctuating, and on a rollercoaster bringing that insulin load of your diet down.
We can quantitatively analyze that in your food, bringing that insulin load down and help stabilize blood sugars in your insulin. So your cravings are improved so you can then be less addicted to food, and less compulsively eating because of those blood sugar swings. So that’s really handy but I suppose then we realized that to drive it to the other end, if you’re just drinking refined fat which we’ll probably talk about later, it doesn’t provide a lot of satiety, doesn’t provide a lot of nutrients. So there’s a balance point there finding a diet that stabilizes your blood sugars, and insulin doesn’t require you to inject too much insulin, but also provides enough protein and micronutrients, vitamins and minerals to provide satiety.
Man, you’re full of information and I want to unpack more of what you said there because I think right now my head’s a little spinning, and I know everything you just said [inaudible 00:05:08]. The listeners were going like, “Oh my gosh, what at all did he just say? I don’t even know.” So maybe if we just dive into maybe some practical application of what you’re [inaudible 00:05:18]. So what have you found as far as types of foods that people should be eating that are going to provide the most satiety for one? So help people feel full and control their appetite.
Yeah. I suppose initially if you’re managing diabetes, a lot of those people who become really inflamed in a base, and get high blood sugars are doing that because they’re eating a lot of foods that are a combination of not just carbohydrates but carbohydrates and fat. A lot of food system has really, the food manufacturers have worked out that processed starch, corns and corn starch and potato starch and all those sorts of things smashed together with cheap Crisco and seed oils. Soybean oils are really cheap and cost effective, so that’s basically what is in the middle of our supermarket, and the McDonald’s and that’s what our food system consists of. So that’s what people are thinking a lot of the time are really at base because that combination is basically a doughnut, or a cake, and it’s really easy to overeat.
So at that point, those foods just drive over eating and make it very easy to eat, and don’t provide you a lot of satiation, or protein, or nutrients really. So at that point it’s really good to go, “Well, let’s not fear the fat, let’s bit more dairy, bit more cheese, bit more butter in my coffee,” whatever will help you switch and transition from a really processed carbohydrate diets, to a more satiating, more nutrient dense diet. Then I suppose more recently, I’ve been digging into the whole concept of satiety of once you get to that point. If you’ve stalled, if you want to continue your journey, how do you continue to optimize with I suppose numerically being an engineer. How do you continue that fine tuning? What we’ve found is that foods with more protein tend to make you more satiated, or tend to make you feel more full with less calories.
Foods with more fiber tend to fill you up in the short term, while foods that have got a lot of process starch and carbohydrates tend to not fill you up as much, and also refined oils don’t tend to fill you up as much. So I suppose at that point, a lot of people reach a point where they go like, “I’ve plateaued, where do I go from here? Do I just keep on, keep calm and keto on and put more butter in my coffee and be more ketogenic and drive my ketones higher.” That doesn’t work well for everybody and for some people they need to start pulling out that added fat, so that the fat can come off their body. I know that’s controversial, but that’s I suppose my conviction after looking at it a lot and seeing a lot of debate and discussion online. So yeah.
Sounds like you’re saying get adequate protein for satiety, have some fiber and that gives you that both short term and long term satiety there. Then don’t over do it on the fats if you have weight loss as a goal, is what you found?
Okay, [inaudible 00:08:41] there’s the answer.
It comes down to just eating real food that’s not too processed, and was recently attached to the ground as animal or a plant in some way. Those things that are just packaged and bar coded and have a long list of nutrients, and artificial flavors, they’re probably not going to be good for you, and probably not going to contain the micronutrients you need either.
Yeah. So let’s define that because when people, a lot of people are familiar on keto with macros, which are carbs, fats, and proteins, but these micronutrients, what does that mean?
Yeah, micronutrients is the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids which is your yeah. So generally in our diet what I found is that we tend to find it easy to get adequate protein, because without chasing too much most people are getting adequate. If they continue to chase the harder to find micronutrients, the vitamins and minerals and Omega threes, they tend to get even more protein potentially but that just comes along for the ride without having to chase it. So I suppose with my system, a segue hacker we quantify nutrition. There’s so much argument and confusion, and so much vested interest in bias, and commercial bias, and people are defending the studies that the university did 30 years ago, and they’re still basically as covering to try and cover up.
It just seems that there’s so much confusion out there. So I said, “Well, let’s try to isolate the food to harder foods that have more of the micronutrients that we find harder to find.” So you can, like you’ve talked about before, you can track your food in chronometer and those sort of apps to look at, hey which vitamins and minerals am I not getting enough of? A lot of the time people on keto are not getting enough potassium or magnesium, because they’re taking all carbs out of their diet and they’re contained in green veggies. So we can then identify the foods that contain more of those nutrients and prioritize those at the front of the line, and add more of those to our diet. So that’s part of the optimizing nutrition angle of what I’m trying to do.
Why should we care about micronutrients?
Well I think you’ve probably heard of the protein leverage hypothesis, but what I’ve seen more and more digging into micronutrients is the protein, and vitamins and minerals that intimately linked together that whenever there’s protein, there’s vitamins and minerals and vice versa. So I think a body craves those harder to find nutrients, so we continue to eat, we continue to consume more energy until we get those nutrients. So if we’re having very nutrient poor highly processed food, a body will just go, “Well I need more potassium, I need more magnesium.” While we can’t quantify it perfectly, a body just continues to pursue energy in food until we get that, to feel okay to drive our fundamental biochemistry level, and mitochondria to produce the energy we need to feel okay.
So we just built for survival and our appetite will always win out even if we try to track our food and limit it. Eventually our bodies are just going to go, “Screw you, I need more food. I need more nutrients to do what I need to do.” So it’s not just about the calories, it’s about those vitamins and minerals that you really need to thrive.
No, that’s really interesting that that’s the research of you’re finding, because I know when I was in school, that was one of the theories of why people overate when they ate a highly processed diet was that they just weren’t getting enough of those nutrients. We do actually have those nutrients sensors within it. So one of the reasons we want to focus on optimizing the nutrients in your diet is so we don’t overeat.
Then also it optimizes our health as well, because we need all those vitamins and minerals for a lot of different processes. All the processes in our body.
Yeah, totally and what we’ve found with the nutrient optimize is that people who have tried to say, “Well, let’s try to maximize the nutrition, the micronutrients in my diet.” They always come back and say well, “I’m tracking and it’s interesting and then I’m looking at how many calories I’m eating. I’m not needing as many calories to feel satiate, to feel full and I didn’t need as much energy.” I’m really surprised and that’s a common thing people find, and it’s not fun tracking your calories and try to limit it to a certain number and rah-rah. If you put that micronutrient density first, then you tend to not overeat is what we’re finding again and again with people.
You mentioned the diabetes of your wife, right? Was it a type one diabetes or?
Yeah, she’s a type one diabetic and we just recently got a closed loop pancreas system. So my day is watching the insulin in her artificial pancreas turn on and off and moderate. So I’ve got a really interesting insight into insulin and how the body regulates insulin, and what foods affect insulin.
So for those people who listen to this and they have type one diabetes, what would you recommend first, for example, three steps to do.
Wow. For type one, I suppose stabilizing blood sugars is a really big deal which is also a matter of stabilizing insulin. If you eat high carbohydrate processed foods, you have to inject a lot of insulin and then the insulin in your blood sugars go up, and then you inject a lot of insulin, and then you have to come down and you’re never sure where they’re going to land. Even the best technology of the artificial pancreas can’t manage that, can’t match a high carbohydrate diet with the insulin dosing. So it’s really a matter of small inputs requires small actions and [inaudible 00:15:11] also the law of small numbers that if you’re not having a really high carbohydrate diet, you don’t need to have massive doses of insulin all at once. That will leave you on that blood sugar rollercoaster, which is what really makes you feel crappy and makes you … When she’s got a really low blood sugar, she needs to eat to get out of that.
I suppose to some extent, it’s the same in people living without type one diabetes, but those blood sugar rollercoaster there’s crashes, there’s highs and lows constantly drive appetite. So just balancing that but I suppose what a lot of people have found is don’t avoid protein, because protein is satiating. People who tend to avoid protein and just end up living on fat bombs and cream in the light can drive insulin resistance, and get to the point where they need more and more insulin on a daily basis, which yeah, type ones are really fascinating laboratory experiment to actually quantify insulin to see how much insulin people need. So there’s a balance point there of getting enough quality nutrition with enough protein, enough greens leafy veggies to get your micronutrients in. Yeah, she doesn’t do a lot of potato starch, because she knows that those blood sugar swings just aren’t worth it.
What her typical day looks like?
A typical day of diet, she’ll wake up and have a … I’ll make her a coffee with some cream in it, with some Stevia as sweeteners. So she finds that milk will raise her blood sugars too much. She ends up eating a lot of nuts which are high fat, and give her a reasonable of nutrition and energy but the energy dense. For dinner, we’ll often have a steak and veggies with broccoli and spinach, and beans and those sorts of things. That works pretty well. Interestingly, fish seems to give a more stable blood sugar response compared to beef, so we tried a little bit more fish and enjoy the salmon and those fatty cuts of meat. I’ve been getting into the eating kangaroo in Australia and which is really, I talked to Carole before about high protein.
High protein, lower fat foods which is good if you’re trying to potentially cut some weight, and gain some muscle but for her, we watched the blood sugars rise and need insulin and it behaves nearly similar to carbohydrate just because it’s such a low fat protein which is really fascinating. So yeah, as I said, it’s an interesting journey to watch moment to moment, blood sugars every five minutes and try to manage those swings.
You have one of the best lamb in the world coming from Australia.
What’s that? Lamb, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s great lamb, we enjoy lamb in New Zealand. Lamb, yeah. It’s very nutrient dense, it’s often just happy lambs on green pastures and that’s what [inaudible 00:18:18].
I found it really fascinating what you said about that for her, seafood and fish cause better blood sugar stability than beef. Do you have any insights into why that is? Is it the mineral acids profile or?
I’ve tried to look at it and I think there’s a difference in the different amino acid profiles. I forget a lot of stuff in my head now, I dug into it a couple of years ago but yeah, there’s different amino acids. Some of them are more ketogenic, and some are more glucogenic. Most of them can either become glucose or ketones depending on what is required at the time but yes, the beef tends to have more glucogenic aminos than the fish. It also tends to be more fatty, the salmon and the cuts of meat are nice and fatty and they give it fairly stable blood sugar. So if you watch her blood sugar overnight, we might have dinner at 6:00 and then her blood sugars might pick around 12:00. Then the insulin chases it back down till about 4:00 AM, then by 6:00 AM when she wakes up, her blood sugar is stable and ready to start the day. So they’d serve an ideal night.
Do you have a sense then if, is there a one perfect diet for everybody or are there [inaudible 00:19:42] in what works for people?
Awesome question. No, well I suppose that’s part of my journey is trying to, I was a massive low carb advocate, but then for myself chasing down a whole lot of unlimited fat, and trying to chase high ketones didn’t work for me because it just added more body fat. For my wife who’s trying to stabilize blood sugars and she doesn’t struggle with weight as much, she can prioritize the fat and not worry about added fat and that’s really advantageous for her. I suppose that’s part of my system is trying to say well some people need therapeutic ketosis for management of epilepsy, so they weren’t really high ketones. Some people who are trying to lose body fat, stimulate call it a ketogenic diet, but it’s totally different approach. So I’ve been trying to optimize the different parameters of nutrient density, insulin load, and satiety for all those different categories of people.
Yeah, it’s been working really well and building that instant nutrient optimize it to help guide people through that journey, because there’s just so much confusion. Lots of people’s say well something worked for me, so it should work for you and I think there is one absolute perfect diet and become religious about it. Really the amount of body fat you’ve got, the amount of activity you do, the amount of muscle mass you’ve got, how much activity, what you lift and all those sort of things play into how much you actually need. So it’s interesting to track. We track blood sugars, body fat and weight and say well, it’s dialing your macros to find those, we call it smart macros. To find the macronutrients that will stabilize your blood sugar, and make sure you maintain your lean body mass.
While if you want to lose body weight, you can macro on the calories to dial that in as well, but generally just prioritizing nutrient dense whole foods is a high priority that will oftentimes manage, help you manage the rest of those things.
Balance as you mentioned, right?
Sorry, what was that?
Balance as you mentioned from the very beginning.
Yeah, yeah, and balancing it at a micronutrient level which I think is fascinating. I hope a lot of people find that interesting and want to chase that. So once you look after getting enough of those micronutrients of meeting your daily requirements, then a lot of the other things work out.
So I’m wondering what are some of the hidden gem keto friendly foods, like powerhouses that have a lot of micronutrients in them that you just recommend. Maybe the top five foods that people should consider adding into their diet to optimize their nutrients.
Yeah. I suppose fatty fish that you’ve found to be quite good if you’re on a ketogenic diet, and trying to transition from a really highly processed diet. A lot of people don’t love fish, but then the fatty steak, anything seafood, the Mussels, oysters are going to be amazing. A lot of people don’t like organ meats, but the muscles and liver and those sort of things really help optimize your micronutrients. Any green leafy vegetables, we eat a lot of spinach and broccoli and bok choy, and those sorts of things which will help bring in the vitamins and minerals without giving a lot of carbohydrates. So for most people, they don’t need to worry too much about the carbohydrates from that. There’s plenty of fiber which basically cancels out the carbohydrates.
So you mentioned a few times fiber cancels out for satiety, but are there some types of fiber though that just aren’t really fiber?
Yeah, yeah. A lot of people with the processed packaged products, we’ll put in early two grams of net carbs. If you look at all the ingredients, the fill of fibers, which don’t really, aren’t real fiber. They’re not the fiber that comes with the green veggies, it’s inulin fiber and all the different things that are put in there to fill it up. Interestingly, type one seemed to need to dose insulin for those fibers that are on the label, but the fibers that come with those, don’t worry about the fiber in lettuce and spinach and bok choy and those sorts of things that I don’t think you need to worry about that.
So basically real food fiber is actually fiber, and processed food “fiber”, I’ll put it in quotes, is basically starch.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’d count that if you’re accounting total carbs and net carbs. There’s an ongoing debate there, but my position is you would count the added fiber but the real fiber that comes with whole food you wouldn’t count that, especially because if you take a total carbs approach to eliminate all fiber from all you minimize the green veggies and therefore, minimize all your important micronutrients.
Yeah. So you have kids?
Yeah, yeah. 12 and 13, they eat a lot and so that’s a fascinating insight into nutrition and what growing kids want.
How is balance in a family with kids?
Yeah, yeah, they eat with us and they know what good food is. My 12 year old son is in the kitchen at the moment cooking, he’s got a bunch of mints that he’s trying to cook up and be healthy. At the same time, it’s fascinating to watch particularly the son who’s just a growing little pre-pubescent machine at the moment. If he has the opportunity to see sausage rolls or donuts, he goes into this feeding frenzy and it’s just amazing. Even myself with all the knowledge, if you’re exposed to those processed foods that have combination of fat and carbohydrates together, like donuts, and cakes, and sausage rolls, we just can’t turn off. We just want more, but at home we tend to eat fairly well and we all eat similar things.
I’ll probably [inaudible 00:26:30] for the higher protein because I go to the gym fairly regularly, and want to recover from that. The kids are more, they’ll eat some potatoes and those sort of things because it’s cheap. To be honest nutrient dense, higher protein, lower prestos diet is not always the cheapest, but it’s worth it. It’s a good investment because we see when the kids eat crappy colored processed food, they just turn into different people. Yeah, it’s sad to watch say okay, it’s worth the investment in the kids.
Yeah, yeah. My son, my oldest child is 13 years old and he’s athlete too, and I’m trying to educate him and he see my world, the ketogenic lifestyle and et cetera and it’s influence him. Many people asking me this question, “Andre, how about your kids?” I had a really good experiment with them few years ago when we started in the family approaching with fitting kids as we do as I do. I had a really interesting result. So it was three years ago, I have right now six years old daughter, nine years old daughter and 13 years old son. So about three years ago, the two of them were going to the school. So I put them on really strict ketogenic diet even without feeding them breakfast. So we’re going to the school eating first meal of the day, probably three hours later without having any issues.
We didn’t feel really hungry when they’re waking up. So three weeks later, I got a call from a teacher of my son and saying, “What do you do with your son?” “What do you mean?” He’s listening, you know what he see like he’s very different. My wife was laughing, so he’s very active person. I would say hyperactive and yeah, he stabilized, he started listening. Since that time, his performance in sport in school changed completely.
So much better?
Yeah, of course as you mentioned, when he see donuts or something else, it’s so addictive. It has to do with many things in our brain. We regret this, but he understand his process in his body right now, what’s going on. He actually understand when to eat properly in a way.
Yeah, totally. Yeah, it’s interesting. We can hack the satiety index for people who are growing or athletes who need more food, by understanding what helps us to eat less and more. We can say let’s add in your case, more healthy fats from whole fat food. No need to fear the high fat food and we can increase that to help them grow and give them plenty of protein.
Totally, yeah. Cool.
I love both of your examples too, because so many times women follow a keto diet for weight loss and they think it’s a diet that is not safe for kids to follow. You’re both giving examples of how, it shows how healthy it is for them to eat lower carb and more nutrient dense foods. It’s very safe.
Totally. My kids are not suffering a grain deficiency and it seems that whenever we, my daughter experiences major gut issues when she gets a big exposure to gluten, and as said my son, he just goes hyper when is anything processed or food colors. His brain like Andre’s doesn’t think as well. So it’s amazing to see, it’s worth the investment for us. So yeah, there’s definitely no grain deficiency and definitely improvements, and benefits in giving them whole food, real food, healthy food.
What do you think about the idea, some people say, “Well, I don’t want to deprive my kids of all those sugary carby foods, it’s their childhood. Let them be kids.”?
Yeah, wow. Andre, what do you think?
Well, I have one answer. I grew up in a society where we didn’t have that much of processed foods. I would say we didn’t have at all processed food to be honest with you. I’m originally from East Europe and all we had this four seasons, we didn’t eat fruits during the winter. We had like around three months when no fruits available. [inaudible 00:31:37]. All we ate was meat and fermented food, which is big part of my culture where I’m originally from. This is completely different topic to discuss. So I strongly believe what you give to kids today, it’s like building a house. If you give them a good strong foundation which is actually from the day one where they were, even when they not born yet, it’s also important with mother eating.
So this foundation is what we’re talking about right now. I think if you want to give your kids good childhood, you want to give them a good health with foundation you’re feeding them. On sometime, I do strongly believe you want to give them all tools to survive in the society. One of them is educating them. I believe you can [inaudible 00:32:40] the stone with the water when you’re consciously expressing yourself with the proper knowledge, proper information, trying to find a way for them to understand why. So this is my understanding.
Yeah, totally. Kids will come across junk food, but then they eat it and you go, “Well, how do you feel now?” They say not really good and they see why now, and they’re not tempted as much when we go down the lolly aisle of the supermarket. They just go, “Dad, I live with you guys and we understand, we get it.” So yeah.
I love both of that. I feel the same way, Andrea, that kids deserve a solid foundation. They’re building their bodies that they have to live with the rest of their lives, and so I feel like it’s even more important to give them high quality, nutrient dense foods and letting them choose what makes them feel good. Empowering them, well how do you feel after you eat that? They don’t like to feel bad, right? So they’ll make different choices based on that, just because kids are smart. So they want to feel good, they can tell the difference in the way they feel.
Yeah, definitely. Well, another aspect of this is modern adult people, or let’s say family people. Looks like majority of modern society don’t want to feel uncomfortable, and they are looking for more convenient way to live life and one of them is cooking. People tend to make decision, I’d rather go and spend time with my kids being in a fast food restaurant not cooking. They’re making all the time these excuses. This what I’ve found by having conversation with different families, and they ending up having different situation with kids. Of course one of them will be health issues. So when we come back to this question, I think it’s very important to educate parents also. Why it’s important to cook. Sometimes even just cooking fresh food without even ketogenic approach to be honest, people can change their life and then slightly move to the different aspects.
Yeah, totally agree.
Yeah. So I like this question to have keto orientated families. When it comes to meal frequency, Carole mentioned that you have some interesting data.
Yeah. We stumbled across a batch of data from 500,000 people, sorry 500,000 days for about 10,000 people who had recorded for more than two months in my fitness pal. My partner programming the Nutrient Optimiser sent it to me, and did a lot of number crunching and flicked it to me. We were analyzing it, trying to answer those obvious questions that a lot of people argue about what macros work for most people to help them eat less or eat more, and how many meals a day, and which meals. It’s really interesting data and I suppose what we’ve found is that two meals a day, if you’re trying to eat less seems to work well. One meal a day is good but not as good as two meals a day.
I think what happens there is that it’s when you have that one meal a day, you just tend to reward yourself, and it’s hard to limit and potentially you may overeat at that one meal a day, but you can quite reasonably get in two meals a day of a solid amount of protein without having to make it really refined energy dense food, because at that point when you’re really hungry, you just reach … I’ll reach for the peanut butter and the cream and I’m just like I’ve deprived myself for the day. I’m just going to keep on eating because I’ve been so good. For me, I found too that that approach didn’t work but I think if you’re having a couple of robust solid meals a day, that works well and tends to be eating earlier in the day seems to work better. That I think recent study from [inaudible 00:37:29] found that most people eat their required calories for maintenance by about 6:30 in the evening, but most people continue to eat as long as they’re awake.
It’s those calories eaten at night that tend to be easy to, you’ll reach for the bag of chips or the comfort food in front of Netflix. If you start the day with a robust higher protein meal, you’re more likely to not be ravenously hungry later in the day, and store that fat later in the day. I think a lot of people find it more convenient if they’re not trying to lose weight to eat later in the day with the family, and I admit a tad but it seems from the studies in my data analysis from The My Fitness Pal limitations they may have that earlier breakfast and lunch ideally. We don’t live in a perfect world but that seems to be the optimal approach I think. To be honest, it’s hard to do that.
It’s hard to not have that family meal or have a smaller final family meal, and get up in the morning and prepare something that’s got a solid amount of protein and energy to start the day, but I think that seems to be the way that tends to be more satiating, and it help our bodies to crave less food overall.
How about training in the morning? In a fasted mode? To have the meal after the training.
Yeah, that’s the protein eating after the … That’s what I tend to do because I don’t wake up feeling really hungry. So I go to the gym at 5:00 and have some protein after that. I think if you’re trying to restrict overall on a Luis from Ketogains advocates, like a protein coffee or something to start the day before you go training so that by the time you finished your training, the amino acids are available to help build your muscle when you need the repair. So it takes some time to digest and by the time you need that repair at the end of your workout, the amino acids are there. So for me, I’m not quite that finely tuned. I tend to have just naturally through habit, maybe more food at night so I’m starving hungry in the morning. I think if I was trying to restrict overall, maybe prioritizing your food around the workouts like you’re inferring is a really good idea.
What about beverages?
Beverages? I like coffee.
I guess I need a question about that. I’m wondering in your research and data analysis, what pitfalls do you see are common with the beverages, especially the ones that are the most popular on a keto diet. Sometimes people think they need like this high fat coffee, hight fat tea and things like that to be on a ketogenic diet. What insights do you have in your analysis of nutrients related to that?
I suppose personally, I’m not really afraid of artificially sweetened beverages for people that deal with them. Okay, I think you mentioned before that it’s best to get rid of them completely initially, as you learn to sense the real taste of real food. It’s a good thing to go okay, I can taste food, I can taste the nutrients and you’re more attracted to real whole foods. If you get rid of the artificial sweeteners, you get a better chance of letting your taste buds do what they’re meant to which is related to nutrition. A lot of people do well if they start out with a high fat bulletproof coffee introduction to keto. I think that can be helpful to transition them off a really high processed food diet. If once the blood sugar stabilize, once the insulin levels stabilized, once they hunger normalizes, then I think continuing down that path of going, okay, I’ve plateaued, I’m going to have more bulletproof coffee because that’s what drives my ketones up, and that’s what I think leads me to fat loss, doesn’t work for a lot of people, didn’t work for me.
I got to a point where I went, “Gees.” Looked in the mirror, I’m gaining weight. I’m going to know something about nutrition, but maybe if I have more bulletproof coffee, I’ll drive my ketones up and lose fat. It just didn’t work for me and I know it’s not worked for a lot of people, and I suppose I’ve had a fair bit of frustration and maybe anger about that. So I’ve put that into analysis and looking at what optimum ketone levels are, which I suppose people who are really healthy and especially who have been doing a low carb ketogenic diet, maybe athletes, tend to have lower blood sugars, lower ketones, lower triglycerides overall. So a healthy metabolism is one that doesn’t need a lot of fuel floating in the system. It can access the fat as required, and you don’t need really high ketones just like you don’t need high blood sugars all the time.
So if you’re stalled, probably adding more fat is a bad strategy. Maybe looking at ways you can reduce the added fat, so you can find ways to let the fat come from your belly and where you want it to come off is a good thing while keeping enough protein to feed your lean muscle mass, and maintain that lean muscle mass is a great idea. At least in my experience and my research, I know there’s plenty of the incidents full of conflicting ideas about that but that’s what my data has driven me to.
Yeah. It looks like what you’re saying has to do with insulin control where again, coming back to the topic we started. You want to control your insulin with every time you eat something, and the best strategy would be yeah, everything is very individually for every person in the nutrition sense, but overall general rule, we want to know how to control the insulin because this is what caused probably the problem to many people.
Yeah, definitely. Lowering your carbohydrates and having adequate protein, it’s really hard to eat too much protein I think, and having not fearing fat is a really good strategy to stabilize your overall insulin. In the end, insulin is somewhat proportional to your overall energy intake. So if fat does drive up insulin, if you’ve heard of the personal fat threshold, Roy Taylor in the UK did some fascinating research. Looking at the personal fat threshold is you get to a point where your body fat stores are full, and that’s different for different people. Some people can be quite lean but still be diabetic to the point that the fat overflows, and they get too much energy in their blood in the form of high blood glucose, and high ketones, and high triglycerides and at that point, you’ve exceeded your personal fat threshold and you’re diabetic.
Some people can store a whole lot more energy in their fat stores before they become fully blown diabetic, but you have to get to the point of reducing your overall energy intake so your fat stores aren’t over full, and the excess energy flows into your bloodstream which is diabetes and metabolic syndrome. So I think controlling insulin is really fascinating, but I think maybe controlling satiety and overall finding a way that helps you to control overall energy intake is even more important, and maybe even more upstream than focusing on blood glucose or insulin. I think satiety maybe even a higher priority and that’s why I’m a little bit amped about it at the moment.
I love that you brought up that personal fat threshold theory hypothesis, because it’s the opposite of what a lot of people are looking at. So I know it’s a little controversial or maybe a lot where most people say, “Well, insulin is too high, that’s what’s making me fat.” Whereas the personal fat threshold says that you’re too fat, that’s why your insulin is too high. [inaudible 00:46:18], it brings down your insulin. So can you speak to that a little bit?
Yeah. I suppose I was enchanted being married to a type one diabetic, I thought that if we could just eat more fat and less carbohydrates that’d be less insulin and I’d lose weight like a type one diabetic. If you don’t have insulin basically, all your body fat stores flow out into your bloodstream and you see those kids that have uncontrolled in the 20s and they become, they lose all their fat, they lose all their muscle and they die which is really awful. When they inject insulin, they quickly hold onto it and gain it back. So really insulin is like holding a net. It’s like a net that holds your fat stores on it. It’s like a control of the break of your liver that lets the energy from your fat stores flow into your bloodstream, but at the same time, we’re not all type one diabetics.
In a type one diabetic, you’re going to overdose insulin, and that rollercoaster experience really means you end up having too much insulin. The fact that you can’t control the carbohydrate insulin dose means that most, a lot of type one diabetics on a high carbohydrate diet end up overdosing, and end up gaining weight due to the excess insulin. In our body, a pancreas doesn’t, I don’t think produces more insulin that needs to hold back the energy you are consuming. I think that’s a fundamental difference that you need to, a lot of people need to keep in mind is that your pancreas won’t inject more insulin than you need to hold back the energy that’s coming in from your diet. So the fundamental primary thing, is to find a way that you’re not eating more energy than you need, that will drive you insulin high, that will leave you obese and with that excess energy flowing into bloodstream.
So yeah, it’s just a different way to look at it, but I think we need to differentiate between type one diabetics who are injecting insulin, and people who are producing enough insulin to hold back the energy coming from their diet.
Very interesting. Yeah, so maybe we can talk a little bit more about the practical applications for this conversation. How you suggest people to practically apply it.
Yeah. If you want it to break it down to just the macronutrients perspective, not getting adequate protein. I think most people tend to get adequate protein, just the appetite drives them to get adequate protein, getting foods to contain enough fiber which is basically just eating whole foods, not being afraid of vegetables. I think steering away from processed carbohydrates which is just easy to eat, especially when they’re combined with excess fat. Keep in mind like if you’re diabetic, you need to stabilize the blood sugars. Having more fat will definitely help stabilize your blood sugars and transition you away from a high carbohydrate processed diet. Once you get to that point of stabilized on a low carbohydrate diet, look at whether you maybe need to increase your protein and fiber, but decrease your added fat, refined fat to maybe let some body fat come from your body fat stores.
That’s from a macronutrient point of view, but if you want to look at it from a micronutrient point of view, just the Nutrient Optimiser is a tool we’ve developed to analyze your diet, and look at which foods you need to eat more of to get the potassium, and vitamin B, and Magnesium, and selenium, and whatever you’re currently missing from your diet. So generally if you focus on those foods, you tend to have improved satiety, adequate protein, plenty of fiber and all those things that tend to work out as I mentioned before. Then we add the overlay of insulin loads. So if you do have diabetes to some degree, we prioritize stabilizing your blood sugars with a lower insulin load diet.
Great. Anything else you wanted to ask Andre? Did we miss anything?
It’s been a bit of a brain dump, but-
Yeah, yeah but is there anything else-
Yeah, the only thing that-
Yeah. I think if people who listening we touched slightly type one diabetes, what would you say for type two diabetes?
It’s a similar process of initially using a lower insulin load diet to stabilize your blood sugars. Then once you get to that point, you can then focus on that high nutrient density and decide if you need to lose weight. A lot of type twos do need to lose weight because having over full fat stores, and exceeding it personal fat threshold is very fundamental to diabetes basically. I think the cause of diabetes is having fat stores that are over full to the point that the excess energy flows into your bloodstream. So at that point, find a way to optimize your diet and refine your diet, generally eating health foods that are minimally processed to help you work within your personal fat threshold. Basically, find a way to eat a little bit less energy that’ll help stabilize your blood sugars.
I suppose that’s why I’m so motivated hanging around people like Ted Naiman and Luis and Robb Wolf and getting my head around all that. Realizing that the metabolic health is so important to how I think, and how I feel, and how I look in my long term and short term quality of life. So I’m really passionate about it, and I’m trying to put it into actual load time by I do a lot of thinking and writing about it, but putting it into action is a whole different thing. I’m trying my best and it’s a really fun journey and I think it’s really, really, really important and not just to a personal health as a community, but also our economic health and wealth. The current climate is just, food environment is just driving spiraling medical costs that are going to bankrupt us in the very short term. We can’t keep up with the spiraling obesity crisis that is very, very, very expensive in the medical system.
We can’t continue to afford to pay for people being captivated by the modern food environment that just leaves them powerless to not overeat. Like we talked about our kids, when you throw donuts in front of them, there’s a very primal urge to chow them down and they have no off switch. So I’m trying to find that off switch, or empower people with knowledge to find that off switch to enable them to eat a little bit less and control the hunger, and give them the nutrients to thrive and be empowered by food.
Yeah, totally. Another thing I’m always saying, we discussing about food, about hormone gaze, but I’m always saying move your body also. It’s so important. People are like, “Gym, I need to go to the gym. I need time.” I’m saying you know what, actually you don’t need to go to the gym. We pretty much have everything we need in our house. You just need to do a few simple things like just start implementing working every single day. Lifting, carrying, pushing, this is what we need to do in order to have a balance. We don’t need to do this very often, and also moving our bodies crucial competence into the balance game as we mentioned.
Yeah, totally. It’s once you lose your muscle mass as you get older, it’s the muscle that burns the fat and the sugar that keeps your blood sugar stable. So many people get to 70 and they’re weak, and they’re frail and they fall over and break their hip and never get up again. It’s very sad and that’s just how people tend to perish in their older age, and to invest in high level of muscle mass and manage that as a priority now is really an investment in your long term retirement fund of having a good level of muscle mass, so you can age well and live a long high quality life.
Yeah, totally. Awesome.
Lovely. Well, I think we’re ready to wrap this up, aren’t we fellows?
It’s been fun.
Yeah. Thank you so much for all your information, and all your wisdom and tips. We’ve got a lot of these engineering minds that are moving into this nutritional space, and you guys bring us new perspective and approaches to old nutrition information too. So my final question here for you is going to be, this is your final day on earth. The meteors coming at us all, we’re all going to be wiped out. What are you going to pick as your final meal?
Wow. I was going to say the donuts I’ve been holding off on, I don’t know. Just enjoy your food at that point, to do whatever you love. I do just enjoy salmon and steak and actually enjoy spinach. That makes me feel really good and I love that. So I do enjoy eating this way, and spinach mashes, salmon steak. I love it so yeah.
A big [inaudible 00:57:03] it sounds like.
I actually lost my taste for donuts.
Yeah, yeah, that’s funny because you may try it and you’re like, “That’s not even good.”
Yeah, [inaudible 00:57:15].
So where people can find your journey and read more? What is the URL of your blog?
Yeah, I’m optimisingnutrition.com, which Carole will tell you is the British spelling with an S but if you google optimizing nutrition, there’s a blog where a chronicle of my learnings over the last two or three years, a lot of words. Then there’s Nutrient Optimiser which I’ve tried to distill all those learnings into a program, where you can get some suggest meals and suggested foods. It takes you through how you can build new habits. A lot of us have this knowledge, but how do we build new habits to actually stick, starting from the fundamentals and moving from basically buy snack at a bio hacker along that journey from simple to more complex if you need it. Then there’s a Facebook group, Marty Kendall’s Nutrient Optimiser and also Optimising Nutrition is another Facebook group with about 8,000 people that are really smart and I’ve learned a lot from. So that’s where we share all the controversial new research and chat about that. So yeah, but I’d love you to check it out Nutrient Optimiser and check out the free report.
Awesome. Thank you.
Thank you so much for being here, Marty. Thank you for taking the time so early in your day. You probably have to get off to work now, don’t you?
Saturday I’ll be here, we’re ahead of you guys.
A whole day ahead, all right.
One day ahead.
You’ll never catch up.
Well, thank you again for being here. Everyone, thanks for watching/listening.
Thank you guys.
Thank you so much.