Introduction: In this podcast: What others won’t tell you about metabolic typing, using Sodastream to make your own carbonated water, best way to gain muscle weight fast, how long can you eat whatever you want after exercise, gluten free bread, do nutrition supplements expire, a supplement called Serrapeptase, how much carbs, protein and fat should you eat, shin splints, alternatives to dairy and soy milk, body fat measurement accuracy, interpreting hormone test results and nutritional response testing.
Ben: Hey folks, Ben Greenfield here. I am done traveling around the world and finally back home in snowy Spokane, Washington State. Have a great interview lined up today with Tim Monaco from Bioletics. You’ve heard the team from Bioletics on this podcast before. And Tim is their official metabolic typing expert. He’s going to tell us some of the things that we really don’t hear that much about when it comes to metabolic testing such as why certain types can’t eat certain kinds of meat and why something as simple as carbonated water might not be the best thing to drink and just some things that you don’t really encounter too much when it comes to metabolic typing. So we’ve got that interview. A bunch of Q and As and special announcements. So let’s go ahead and get started on this week’s podcast.
Ben: Alright. If you have a question, you can call toll free to 8772099439. You can Skype to username pacificfit or you can email me at [email protected] or even use the free Ben Greenfield Fitness iPhone app to ask your question. And the first question this week comes in from Listener Jess.
Jess asks: I would never use the Sodastream to make soda but I keep seeing it in stores and wonder if it might be a more economical option to quench my carbonated water thirst, as opposed to purchasing bottles of Pellegrino. Can you think of any ways in which this device may be less optimal for one’s health than bottled sparkling water?
Ben answers: So this soda water deal – I basically looked into this and it’s actually something I talked about once before on the show. I had forgotten that I brought it up. But it’s a countertop soda maker that infuses carbonation into a regular bottle of tap water. Now many of you know that for people who maybe are addicted to soda or who have trouble with nighttime eating, I recommend carbonated water as one way to kind of satisfy the appetite craving or the eating and drinking boredom that you can sometimes run into. Now the soda water comes with certain soda mixes that would allow you to actually make straight up soda. But as this listener asks, they’re interested in whether or not it can be used for just making carbonated water and whether or not there’d be an issue with that. Well as I mentioned, later on in this show we’ll talk with Tim Monaco about carbonated water and his thoughts on it. But basically all you’re looking at is dissolved carbon dioxide gas in the water. And there have been claims made that that carbonated water can erode the teeth, erode the bones, leech calcium or increase acidity in your body. I haven’t personally seen experience or research that shows that. And basically carbon dioxide is something that can be absorbed through your digestive tract and could lead to a distension in your stomach. So maybe you’d get some hiccups, some burps. Possibly even a little bit of irritable bowel syndrome. But there’s really not going to be much of a difference between getting that from a Sodastream versus getting it from a bottled carbonated water. Aside from the fact that eventually it’s probably going to be less expensive to have the Sodastream once you’ve made the initial investment to get that onto your counter. Now the reason that they make that argument about acidity is that CO2 reacts with water and it produces something called carbonic acid and carbonic acid is fairly acidic but it’s really not even close to the acidity of something like your stomach acid. And the problem with carbonic acid is that in order for something like that to create an acidic state within your body, your body would have to not really have the ability to regulate the levels of CO2 and carbonic acid in the bloodstream and the fact is most people’s bodies have the ability to tightly regulate the levels of acid based off of breathing off carbon dioxide or producing less carbon dioxide. So wouldn’t be too worried about the acidity in terms of the formation of carbonic acid. Now as far as calcium deficiency and osteoporosis. The argument there is that the acidic ingestion of the carbonated water could lead to the leeching of calcium. But there really haven’t been any significant links found in research between carbonated drinks and what would be one of the most useful indicators of calcium depletion which would be the urinary excretion of calcium. As far as bones go, they did do a two month study in Spain where they had people drinking carbonated water, measuring bone density. No difference found but that was kind of a shorter study. That was a two month study. As far as teeth, it is true that below PH of about 5 – the enamel of your teeth could be dissolved. But you would have to drink a ton of carbonated water in order to wear away your tooth enamel faster than the enamel itself is actually formed. So carbonated water does have a slightly more erosive characteristic compared to regular water. But you’d have to really be drinking it a lot, swishing it around in your mouth a lot and consuming it literally 24/7 in order to wear down your teeth from carbonation and something like that. So ultimately, Tim Monaco talks in a little bit more detail about carbonated water and some of the issues in terms of metabolic typing. But ultimately what it comes down to is the Sodastream not being much different than the type of carbonated water that you’d get from the store as far as the health effects or the ingredients of it. Assuming you’re not putting the soda flavoring or the diet soda flavoring into the drinks that comes with the Sodastream.
Billy asks: I am a hard gainer. (For those of you who don’t know what a hard gainer is, that’s typically a guy or girl who has a hard time putting on muscle. He says he’s currently 168. He wants to get up to 185lbs. What is the best approach and what are the best foods to eat to gain weight in a timely fashion?)
Ben answers: Well for those of you who are not aware of the fact, I am working on a top secret project that has to do with body typing and workouts. But one of the aspects of that project is the explanation of how people who are skinny can actually make their bodies look good. And some of the things that are discussed are of course protein intake and the type of lifting that should be done. Hard gainers should not waste time with single joint exercises like bicep curls or calf raises. They should do lots of multi-joint exercises. Squats, deadlifts, cleans, things of that nature. Heavy weights. Power lifting, Olympic style lifting and that should be combined with a good protein intake. We’re talking about right around the rage of 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Preferably from whole protein sources. Animal based protein sources are always going to help you build muscle faster than combining vegetable based protein sources. So even though consuming a nut butter sandwich is going to give you a complete protein profile, you’re going to get better absorption and a better biological profile by getting things like red meat, poultry, fish. If you can deal with it ok, if you’re not lactose intolerant, if it’s not causing a lot of inflammation with you – dairy. Eggs also are a great source and any of those types of things are things you’d want to include as much as possible throughout the day. So the trick is you want to maintain constantly high levels of circulating amino acids. Because that sends a message to your body to not engage in muscle cannibalization or what’s known as a catabolic state. So essentially you want to keep your body’s protein levels constantly elevated. That’s why you’ll always see people like bodybuilders walking around with Tupperware containers full of broccoli and rice and fish and chicken and protein bars and protein shakes in their purses and bags. Because they understand the fact that you have to be eating a lot in order to build muscle. When I was bodybuilding, I’m personally a hard gainer. I have a hard time putting on muscle. When I was a bodybuilder, I’d set the clock and get up at midnight and go downstairs and have tuna and have dairy and put protein into my body just to keep the amino acid levels up. To keep my body in what’s called an anabolic state. And that can be a little bit annoying to have to do. It’s definitely not convenient but if you’re a hard gainer and you really do truly want to pack on a lot of muscle, and in your case 168 up to 185 lbs, we’re talking 17 lbs of muscle. You could do something like that in 20 to 25 weeks but it’s going to take eating a lot of calories. We’re talking about – if your resting metabolic rate is 2500 calories. You’d want to be bumping yourself up to at least 1000 calories above that. Assuming you’re exercising on a daily basis and sometimes more. And doing a lot of that from whole protein sources and then lifting heavy, full body four to five times a week and that’s how you put on muscle. It’s tough for a hard gainer to hear that. There are people who are built like football players naturally who don’t have to do that. But skinny guys or skinny girls who want to put on muscle, you’re trying to create a body type that you don’t naturally have. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. It’s tough to do, but it’s doable. So good question.
The next question was asked via Twitter and if you have a question to ask via Twitter, just go to twitter.com/bengreenfield. Or go to twitter.com and do a search for Ben Greenfield. Follow me and then ask your question.
baldzach asks: After exercise, you can eat what you want, sort of. How long does this effect last, what is the curve of its efficacy?
Ben answers: So, basically what baldzach is referring to is the fact that when you exercise you get increased insulin sensitivity. Meaning that the cell’s surface receptors for insulin that you have in your body after exercise become more sensitive to insulin and so you require less of an insulin relief from the pancreas in order to assist in your glucose transport and your glucose metabolism. Now what you’re looking at is increased insulin sensitivity for up to 16 hours post exercise as far as what studies have found for when you exercise. How long your body can go before that sensitivity decreases. And during that window, what that means is that when you eat a sugar or you eat a meal, it’s more likely to end up getting transported into the muscles for storage and less likely to be converted into fat by the liver. Now although that 16 hour insulin sensitivity window does exist, it’s usually only up to about 2 hours after exercise where you get that real significant sensitivity in terms of glucose uptake being elevated. So if you’re trying to squeeze in a cheat meal, if you’re doing – one of the things I recommend is if you’ve got to have a Snicker’s bar eat it after a workout. If you’re trying to do that type of stuff, you basically have a two hour window to play with. Even though insulin sensitivity is going to increase for almost a full day after a workout. That’s why people who are exercise are just in a better boat altogether in terms of risk for diabetes, insulin sensitivity, ability to eat things and have less of a risk of getting fat from them and that type of thing. So insulin sensitivity window really in terms of the practical aspect, you’ve got about two hours after your workout before you lose a lot of that ability to uptake glucose as energy and not get it converted into fat.
Graeme asks: I’ve been looking at gluten free bread options and was wondering what your opinion was on these breads and whether any of them had other issues other than gluten.
Ben answers: And Graeme actually sent through a link to an artisan organic bread that he’s been consuming that’s a naturally gluten free bread. And a lot of these breads, they’re made out of a buckwheat or a gluten free flour. And while you’re still going to get the issue with sugar and carbohydrates, the insulin response, some of the things that we just got done talking about in terms of the propensity for that excess energy to cause that insulin release and potentially threaten your waistline or your weight, you don’t get that in glutenated protein, which is responsible a lot of times in many, many people for an inflammatory reaction in the gut and digestive irritability. Or an inability to just properly digest food. So a lot of times you’ll get leaky gut syndrome. You’ll get whole food fragments floating around in the bloodstream causing an allergenic reaction, causing an immune system response and that’s kind of one of the base theories of the paleo diet. If you go back and listen to my interview with Robb Wolf. Now I’m personally not saying that that I am a paleo dieter myself. I personally do eat gluten although I’ll eat something like quinoa. I eat oatmeal. I don’t do a lot of bread but I definitely do eat some of those foods. Now as far as the grains themselves, even when you strip out the gluten, you’re still getting some things that could cause some irritability particularly what are called leptons and also phytic acids. So in addition to gluten, you’ve got a couple of other pro-inflammatory substances. Leptons are basically a binding molecule. They’re absorbed through the digestive tract. They still have the ability to attach to tissues throughout the body and they can promote inflammation in the digestive tract as just a protective mechanism of that grain. The other thing that grains contain that all grains contain is phytic acid and phytic acid does have a little bit of an ability to reduce the absorption of some of the minerals that you might be consuming along with that meal or with the grain such as calcium, magnesium, zinc or iron. So if you’re worried about getting your minerals, that’d be another reason that regardless of whether or not the bread is gluten free, you may want to consider avoiding. So really it comes down to what your body is personally able to digest and absorb. A lot of it is due to your ancestry, what your particular lineage has developed the ability to properly absorb. I do know some people who can eat sandwiches and bread all day long, feel great, get no digestive problems, stay healthy. I personally am one of those people who will gain weight, gain fat very quickly on bread. For example, I have a 6 pack abs and I’ll lose that pretty quickly if I start to eat bread. Not just due to the increased fat formation but also because I tend to get an inflammatory gut when I consume bread and diary. So I for the most part stay away from any significant levels of those. So even gluten free bread, you’re still looking at leptons and phytic acid regardless of whether or not it’s gluten free. That’s a good question.
The next question is, oh Graeme has a follow up question.
Graeme asks: What is your opinion on Chyawan Prash? How should I use it?
Ben answers: And this Chyawan Prash is actually an ayurvedic health tonic. So as you would probably guess by the name, it’s widely used in India. It’s considered one of these immunity boosters and over there it’s a lot of times in nutritional circles called the Elixir of Life and it’s named after a guy named Chyawan Rishi who was the first person to prepare the Chyawan Prash tonic. And basically it’s this sticky paste that’s kind of – it’s got the consistency of jam and this sweet sourish taste. And the way that you would consume it is you can eat it. Just literally eat it by the spoonful or you could mix it into a liquid like a warm milk or warm water and it’s considered a detox type of supplement. Typically it’s got things like cinnamon, asparagus, turmeric, clarified butter or what’s called Ghi. Sometimes there’ll be a little bit of honey or dehydrated sugar cane in there to give it a little bit of flavor. They’ll put some antioxidants in there, Indian gooseberry is one of the more common ones. And essentially it’s supposed to clean you out. Almost like a cleanse. This would probably be kind of like the eastern equivalent of for example the Enerprime that I take on a daily basis and that a lot of my clients use which is a greens supplement. Pretty beneficial to the liver in terms of detoxification effect and good in terms of bumping up the immunity, helping digestion along a little bit. Typically a lot of these things are just cocktails of a bunch of different herbs that have a lot of different health effects. It’s kind of a shock and effect. I personally have no problem with this, assuming that the honey and sugar cane that’s added to it is pretty minimally. One of the things you really have to take into consideration when you’re consuming a shotgun type of supplement like this is the potential for it to interact with any pharmaceutical drugs that you may be taking. And so that’s something that you’d definitely want to take into consideration, is whether or not something is going to interfere with the medication that you’re taking. Take like St. John’s Wort for example. That can really aggravate a lot of the side effects that pharmaceutical drugs can cause and if something contains something like that, that would be one example of a reason to avoid it or at least to use it wisely. But ultimately, putting a bunch of herbs into your body, a bunch of health herbs into your body – I can think of worse things to do to your body than that. So, if you want to try this stuff out as a health tonic, knock yourself out. Leave a comment on the show and let me know how that goes for you.
Justin asks: My question is about expired supplements. Do powdered supplements such as whey protein or glutamine actually expire or is there a date on them because of food regulations? What about capsule supplements such as beta alanine or kre-alkaline?
Ben answers: The kre-alkaline that he’s referring to I believe is the creatine supplement I’ve recommended before on this show. Yes, whey protein powder, any protein powders – they’re going to have an expiration date on them somewhere and yes that’s because it’s required by law and typically they do have a very stable shelf life. So protein is really not prone to becoming rancid like fat can. So when a fat or an oil gets oxidized or exposed to heat or light or oxygen or pressure, it can form free radicals. It can become rancid. It can potentially give you some pretty serious side effects and stomach aches when you take it in and it’s rancid. But 100% whey protein powders typically contain very little fat. So if you’re eating a protein powder that has Omega 3 fatty acids added to it or fish oils added to it, then you’d want to be concerned but whey protein – even a whole container of them might have maybe a gram of fat in it. So we’re looking at shelf lives of a year or two on most of those. And even past that, not that big of a deal. Now as far as protein breakdown and the protein actually just getting hydrolyzed or losing a lot of its chemical properties just sitting there, again it’s going to typically take about one to two years. When you consume a protein – pretty powerful enzymes in your stomach called proteases are required to break that down. And a protein sitting on a shelf in your pantry is not going to get exposed to those same type of proteases that are in your stomach. So usually shelf lives maintain – or the shelf lives of the supplements is far above and beyond that one to two years that is the manufacturer’s recommended expiration date. A lot of times you’ll find that drugs or supplements can remain potent for 10, 15 years. Seriously, some of this stuff has a very, very long half life. I personally would recommend that if your whey protein contains anything other than 100% whey protein that you pay pretty dang close attention to that shelf life because a lot of times there can be fats in there. A lot of whey proteins these days are not just protein. They’re adding a lot more into it. As far as a nutrition supplement, anything else, basically what we’re talking about is just potency. And the expiration date is the date when the active ingredient on that begins to lose its potency, specifically in most cases the expiration date is when the active ingredient is at about 90% potency. And they figure this out using – it’s basically a chemical equation that they use where some of the variables fed into it are the amount of the active ingredient in the supplement that you’re taking, the actual half life of that ingredient and then a time equation to figure out the actual rate of decay and loss of potency of that supplement. So, again what we’re talking about is not necessarily whether or not it’s going to be toxic to your body if you consume it when the expiration date is gone on a multivitamin or a supplement. What we’re talking about is just the fact that you could be throwing your money down the drain because it may have lost a lot of its potency due to heat, light, moisture, whatever the case may be. So, I would pay attention to the expiration date if you’re concerned about getting the most out of your multivitamin. Whey protein – wouldn’t worry about it as much but again that’s for 100% whey protein.
Wenzel asks: What advantages/ disadvantages is there to a daily intake of “Serrapeptase”? I’m hearing an increase of people at the gym talking about it and how they are able to recover quicker with it.
Ben answers: It’s actually not serrapeptase. It’s called serratiolpeptadase. And what it is is it’s a microorganism that’s present in the silkworm intestine and in the silk work intestine, it allows the moth to dissolve its cocoon. And what it’s used for in alternative medicine is pain and inflammation. So basically they extract this stuff and you take it and it’s supposed to have these powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Now, as a protease or something that can break down proteins, yeah it’s possible that it may have some of the effects as for example the Recoverease that I take, which is a protolytic enzyme. It’s like pineapple extract and papaya extract and what are called trypsin and chimotrypsin, penapane and bromelain. And this stuff has been proven to help with inflammation and to help with recovery. I haven’t been able to find any randomized control trials or any evidence on serratiolpeptadase being effective based on inflammation or pain management. And I’m not saying that that means that that’s not. But no evidence that I found have shown real anti-inflammatory benefits of it. If you try it and it works for you, then great. But I personally, if it were me, be a little bit more prone to use something like a proven protolytic enzyme supplement or use an anti-inflammatory like the fenocaine that I’ve talked about on this show and talked about with Dr. Roby Mitchell who appeared on this show as a natural anti-inflammatory before I’d start squeezing peptadases out of the silkworm intestine. So interesting stuff though. I find that interesting that people at the gym are actually using that stuff. I’m not sure where you’re from Wenzel. Maybe this is something that’s unique to somewhere else because I haven’t heard of it before you asked.
Daniel asks: What is the macronutrient composition in grams per kg body weight for an average person trying to shed a few pounds? (Anytime you guys hear the term macronutrient thrown around, that refers to carbs, protein and fat. You’ll hear Tim Monaco on the interview later on throwing around that term.)
Ben answers: So basically what Daniel is asking is how much carbs, how much protein, how much fat should he eat to lose weight. Daniel, that question has no answer and I read it on the show today because I get that question literally like 10 times per week. And what it comes down to is we don’t know. What works for one person may not work for another. Mediterranean diet works great for some people. Paleo diet works great for some people. The 40-30-30 zone diet works great for some people. That’s why you’d want to go do something like get metabolically tested. Fill out a comprehensive metabolic questionnaire and find out what’s best for you rather than shooting in the dark. Now what you’re going to find in terms of general recommendations in nutrition manuals and online is about 55 to 65% carbohydrate, around a 20 to 30% protein and 20 to 30% fat ratio. But having worked with literally thousands of people for weight loss, I can tell you that that equation just doesn’t work for a lot of people. So ultimately the answer to your question is that there is no answer to that question. I get that question all the time. Go get metabolically tested. Well worth your money. I’ll put a link in the Shownotes to Bioletics. You’ll hear the interview with Tim today. That’ll shine more light for you.
Michael asks: I think I have shin splints that were caused by a long run that I wasn’t ready for. What is weird to me is that no matter if I run or not they still hurt the same. I have heard you recommend topical magnesium on your podcast before as a natural anti-inflammatory and was wondering if that might be helpful in my case.
Ben answers: Topical anti-inflammatories – I have not found to be helpful with shin splints. Just totally shooting straight with you. Shin splints are typically an anatomical and biomechanical issue that unlike say a sprained ankle or tennis elbow just don’t seem to respond well to anti-inflammatories as well as they respond to stretching and literal mechanic breakup of the tissue. So what I would recommend for shin splints is work intensively on calf work and calf flexibility using not only calf stretches and Achilles tendon stretches but also using foam roller and stick to literally just work the heck out of the calves. Number two, I would get detailed massage therapy work. We’re not talking about an oil rubdown. We’re talking about detailed massage therapy work where you’ve got somebody going for a full hour on just your calves and your shins. The front of your legs, up and down that area where it’s sore. A sports massage therapist who really knows what they’re doing. In my opinion those two measurements – calf stretching and massage therapy, soft tissue work, on the calves and on the shins themselves – I’ve found to be far more responsive than any type of topical anti-inflammatory – icing, heating or oral anti-inflammatory type of protocol. Now ultimately it may be that the cause of your shin splints goes above and beyond calf and flexibility or the adhesions that you’d be massaging out and it could be due to a biomechanical issue when you’re running such as excessive heel striking. And that’s the case where yes you can treat the symptoms but ultimately you’ll want to go back and treat the cause and that might mean getting a biomechanical analysis, learning how to run properly, reading the book Chi Running, reading Pose Running, focusing on a mid to forefoot strike. Maybe switching to a shoe that’s more of a minimalist barefoot running style of shoe. Maybe trying out a Newton type of shoe. I’m not saying those will work for everybody. But for people with shin splints, sometimes that can be the answer.
Tony asks: I’m struggling to find an easily bought dairy free/ soy free milk alternative in the UK. Rice milk I find high in sugar in the UK. (By the way people, rice milk in most cases, when you turn over the nutritional label here in the US, they do add cane sugar or syrup to it.)
Ben answers: So Tony sent me the ingredient list on something called Kara dairy free coconut based milk replacement and he asked me if that’s a healthy option. So I took a lot at this Kara stuff and basically what we’re looking at in terms of the ingredients are 1.9 grams of carbohydrate. That’s barely anything. Some protein. Good portion of fat. Obviously when we’re talking about coconut milk, this coming from medium chain fatty acids. And the ingredient being coconut milk, fruit extract concentrate, calcium phosphate and an emulsifier which helps with – it basically helps the coconut milk not clump up too much. Not bad really. But the fact that they put the fruit extract concentrate in it – if you’re trying to limit your carbohydrate or you’re trying to limit the glycemic index of the foods that you consume, trying to eliminate your sugar intake – you could just get a regular light canned coconut milk or a regular heavy coconut milk and mix that with water and do just the coconut milk rather than getting the fruit extract and the added carbohydrates that have been put into something like this. I personally do a lot of coconut milk and I literally just get a can from the store and between that or unsweetened almond milk which you can make yourself – there are recipes for almond milk online. My wife actually makes almond milk – but between the coconut milk and the almond milk – those are the two best alternatives to the soy milk and the regular milk and the rice milk but you don’t need to get this stuff that typically comes in a box that’s been sweetened. For coconut milk, just get the canned stuff and for almond milk, look on the label and make sure they haven’t added a bunch of sugar to it. And if they haven’t, then fine, go for that. But pretty easy to go look up an almond milk recipe. Grab some raw almonds and make your own. Pretty much all you need is a blender and a cheese cloth and some almonds.
Glen asks: My passion is bodybuilding. I saw on your web site that you have competed in bodybuilding and want your recommendation, thoughts, comments on the Bod Pod accuracies and how it relates to calipers?
Ben answers: So for those of you who don’t know what the Bod Pod is, it’s basically this unit that you get inside and you sit in it and it measures the amount of space that you displace when you sit inside this unit and therefore indirectly measures your body density which can be fed into an equation to measure your body fat percentage. Now there are multiple ways to measure body fat percentage and the most accurate type of body fat percentage. Multiple levels of accuracy depending on which body fat percentage measurement that you get. Beginning with this Bod Pod, we’re talking about a body fat calculation that’s within 3 to 4% of accuracy, which is actually not as high as you would probably expect especially considering you’re usually going to pay in the range of 50 to 60 bucks for that test. It’s about as accurate and as reliable as another pretty popular test called dual x-ray absoptiometry for body fast testing. That test again, 50, 75 bucks typically. It’s traditionally called a Dexa and used to measure bone density but it can also be used to measure body fat density and a lot of gyms and health clinics are using Dexa scanners now. But again, we’re looking at getting in the range of 3 to 4% accuracy. If you’re 30% body fat, maybe you’re 34. Maybe you’re 26. Not that big of a deal. If you’re 11% body fat, knowing that you’d be 7% versus say 15%, that’s a little bit bigger span in terms of knowing what your actual body fat percentage would be. Now one of the most accurate methods out there is called hydro densotometry testing and that involves getting into a tank that’s filled with water. And based on the amount of water that you displace, your body density and your body fat is calculated. That’s the gold standard. That’s the most accurate assessment technique you can get. Interestingly, it’s got a very small fee involved. It might cost you 25, 50 bucks. It can be a little bit scary. You have to get into the water. You have to hold your breath, go under water and then blow all the water out of your lungs until you feel like you are just going to drown basically and you are measured. If you don’t empty all the air out of your lungs, it’s not that accurate but if you’re willing to go underwater, blow all the air out of your lungs – very accurate test, that underwater test. And then a couple of others that you’ll run into would be the infrared light measurement. And that measures your body fat with essentially a probe that’s placed on your biceps or anywhere else. It sends this light through fat, through muscle and then factors in your height, weight, sex, age and your activity level and gives you kind of a rough estimate of your body fat percentage. Not all that accurate. You’ve got the height weight charts. Those are not accurate at all. You’ve got your bioelectrical impedance which actually puts an electrical wave through your body and measures the rate at which that wave bounces off of fat versus muscle, versus bone. That also is not very accurate because you have to be in a perfectly correlated state of hydration every time you do it. And if you’re not, that electrical current simply bounces around at different velocities. And because it’s so sensitive to hydration, you might find that you’re 20% body fat one day and 15% the next. And then finally skin fold calipers which are these pinch tests – if you can get somebody who does a lot of skin fold caliper tests and they’re using a good set of skin fold calipers – not the cheap plastic calipers, but a good skin fold caliper – this can actually be a really accurate test. You want to make sure that you do it with a personal trainer or exercise physiologist who really knows what they’re doing. But if you can do a seven site skin fold caliper test – incredibly accurate for body fat percentage. Typically going to cost you 20 to 30 bucks. But if I were going to go out and get my body fat tested and I were getting into body building, I’d do skin fold calipers and the only reason I wouldn’t do the underwater way is just because it’s inconvenient to get to in a lot of cases. Whereas skin fold calipers, you can find anywhere. I know that I can find a personal trainer who’s been personal training for six, seven, 10, 20 years, who’s done a lot of them and will be accurate. So that is the skinny on body fat measurement tools.
Mike asks: Are you familiar with Nutritional Response Testing, and if so what are your thoughts on it?
Ben answers: Ok, nutritional response testing. Basically what that is, is it’s this analysis that’s done based off your body’s reflexes and acupuncture pressure points. So essentially each of these reflex points on your body is associated with this specific organ or a tissue or a function. And so what a nutritional response tester will do is – and you’ve probably seen this before – they’ll have you hold out your arm and they’ll test the muscle strength of your extended arm. And then they’ll touch certain points that would be considered reflex points and if that reflex that they’re touching is active, then the nervous system apparently responds by reducing the energy to the extended arm and then the arm weakens and drops and that signifies some kind of underlying dysfunction. And so let’s say they touch your liver or your kidney reflex and find that your arm gets weak when they touch your liver or your kidney reflex, then maybe they would tell you that you needed to be eating something that would help out your liver or your kidney or not aggravate your liver or your kidney. For example, tell you that you need to go take a vitamin A complex or something like that. I think the theory behind nutritional response testing is somewhat promising in that yes, there is a significant link between our nerves, our muscles and our nutritional deficiencies or excesses. But I have seen zero evidence to support the fact that by simply extending your arm, getting touched at a certain reflex point and then seeing how your muscles respond could be correlated with showing a deficiency or excess in your diet. And again, this is one of those deals where I’m a very open minded person and if this works for someone, fine. It works. But there haven’t been any long term controlled studies that I’m aware of that have looked into this. So all I can say about nutrition response testing is that the theory behind it is compelling but I really haven’t seen enough research on it and I don’t think enough research on it exists to say much more about it.
Finally we have a question from an anonymous listener.
Anonymous asks: I’ve had low testosterone for a number of years now stemming from an eating disorder. I recently had my hormone levels tested and my results were testosterone – 95, FSH – 5.2, and UH – 1.8. My doctor just sent me this printout and didn’t discuss what these numbers mean. Could you help me understand what they mean and how low they are?
Ben answers: Ok so he’s got a testosterone, he’s got an FSH and he’s got an LH test. So, I’m not a doctor but I can provide you with a little bit of information about this. The testosterone test that you got, this was a blood test. And when you measure testosterone in the serum or get a blood test, the testosterone is typically bound to a protein that allows it to be transported in the body. It’s called sex hormone binding globulin. And so this testosterone that’s bound to the sex hormone binding globulin is not considered a free circulating testosterone and sometimes this bound testosterone is not indicative of the free and active levels of testosterone. And so this is one reason why a salivary testosterone test that tests that free unbound testosterone can sometimes be a little bit more accurate than this blood test. But ultimately what it comes down to is you test it out at you said 95. So, in terms of what we would see as a reference range for testosterone in men for this bound circulating testosterone — typically the upper limit for a guy who’s under 50 years old would be about 1300 and the lower limit would be about 290. And that’s nanograms per deciliter. So I’m assuming if this is the test that you got and this wasn’t a salivary test, your testosterone is at 95 – that would be pretty dang low. And again if you have an eating disorder, if you’re not consuming enough fats, you’re not consuming enough food in general, overtraining in a catabolic state, breaking down the body’s own hormones, proteins, cholesterols, etc. – a 95 would definitely be a number that you could have. I would recommend that you go and you listen to the interview that was done with Dr. Rick Cohen on this show that talks about how to increase testosterone. I personally nearly tripled my testosterone levels working with Rick and it’s – for you, I’d imagine that nutrition is going to take precedence over and above simply taking a testosterone supplement. But I would go talk to Dr. Cohen over at Bioletics or go listen to the interview that he did on the show by going on the Shownotes. Every single show is transcribed. Do a search for testosterone. Make sure you spell it right. The next test that you did was FSH. And you say that your FSH was 5.2. So, this FSH – this is follicle stimulating hormone – and in females, it indicates or stimulates the maturation of the ovarian follicles but it’s also critical for sperm production and for sperm cell maturation and so this is one of those sex hormones that is also in men and we would not really want it at low levels, especially men who are trying to conceive. Upper limit for an adult male is typically around 8 IUs, lower level is around 1 IU. You were at 5.2. I don’t necessarily – again I’m not a doctor. But I don’t necessarily see that being in the lower or upper limit. It seems to be in the reference range for FHS. However it’s pretty typical for a low FSH to go hand in hand with low testosterone just because these are all sex hormones. Now, the FSH can also indicate your pituitary function and so that’s another reason you’d want to go get a test like that. But ultimately FSH being where it’s at, I personally with my limited level of knowledge don’t see that the reference range for FSH being super low. And then your LH – that’s your luteinizing hormone, you said that was 1.8. Now the reference range for LH in males would be about 2 to 14. So this is again on the low range. LH is something else that helps to stimulate your testes to produce sperm. So again we’re talking about kind of a low sex hormone level here. Ultimately, these are just numbers and what this comes down to is you kind of answered your own question. You have an eating disorder. I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a physician. I’m not somebody who’s here necessarily to help you with an eating disorder but what I can tell you is that if you were eating adequate fats and proteins and calories, that you would most likely with 99.99% certainty, see all these numbers go up. The question is what do you want more? Do you want your sex hormones to increase or do you want to have complete control over what you eat? Because that really is what eating disorders in physically active males stem from – is that desire to control. And the propensity to believe that the body actually looks differently in the mirror than it actually does. So what I would recommend is that you go visit with a professional and you see a professional to talk about eating disorders. You listen to the interview with Rick Cohen about testosterone and that you also just start eating the amount that you need to bring your sex hormones up. You can literally get a resting metabolic rate test and begin to eat at least as many calories as you’re burning according to your resting metabolic heart rate, preferably adding in as many calories as you’re burning from exercise and for a lot of young active males, yeah that means you’re eating 2500 to 3000 calories a day and that may be what it takes. So, great questions everybody and we’re going to move on to the interview with Tim Monaco. So he’s going to have some great stuff to say about metabolic testing. I’ve got a bunch of links in the Shownotes. So make sure that you go check out the link to Bioletics in the Shownotes as well as the link to a lot of stuff I talked about in the special announcements. The video for the Ironman, the camps, the podcast awards, etc. So let’s go ahead and have a special announcement and then move on to this week’s interview.
Ben: Hey folks, Ben Greenfield here with Tim Monaco. You may be familiar with Tim Monaco if you listen to any of the podcasts we’ve done in the past featuring the team from Bioletics who really help people test their bodies, test their blood, their saliva, their urine for various internal health and performance factors that allow them to achieve a better body and better performance. And Tim himself is the metabolic typing advisor at Bioletics. He’s the guy that a lot of times you’ll talk to on the phone there after you’ve had your metabolic typing done, after you’ve had your tests done. And he’s the guy who really advises you on what your nutrition should look like, what your diet should look like based on your metabolic type. Tim is, in addition to being a metabolic typing advisor check practitioner, he’s an NSCA certified personal trainer. He’s a licensed massage therapist. He’s a USA cycling level 2 coach. I believe – are you not an ex-pro triathlete and pro duathlete as well, Tim?
Tim Monaco: Yep, that’s correct. Raced pretty seriously probably from mid-90s up to early 2000s, I was racing pro and kind of working my way through the ranks.
Ben: Gotcha. And you’re now kind of a competitive master’s level multi-sport athlete, right?
Tim Monaco: Yup. Still trying to hang in there and keep it up.
Ben: Cool. Well obviously, once again another guest similar to some we’ve had in the past who walks the walk and talks the talk and Tim, what we want to cover today is not just what metabolic typing is, because I know a lot of folks are kind of familiar with that. We’ll introduce it kind of on a quick level, but get into the nitty gritties. Why should people – some people’s metabolic types not drink seltzer water or why is for some people chicken a better meat than beef? Some of those things that kind of have people scratching their heads when it comes to metabolic typing. So I think what would be useful for people to start off with is can you kind of give us the introduction to metabolic typing and the way that you through Bioletics actually do metabolic typing?
Tim Monaco: Yup, absolutely. So, I think the whole concept of metabolic typing is something that’s really revolutionary. And I would say I wish I knew about this 25 years ago when I was embarking on my training career. I think I would have had a much more sustainable and productive career as an athlete. And I did pretty well but I was a victim of burnout and really suffered quite a lot. It’s been kind of part of my past to learn and discover and now that I’m at this stage of my career, I’m still training but I really take pride in helping other people because I don’t want them to make the same kind of mistakes that I did. And I have literally tried everything under the sun as far as different diet strategies, supplements, you name it. And I think that it’s kind of manifested as Bioletics with my experience and Dr. Cohen’s experience and us being able to pull together a lot of technology that is available to us to really know what’s going on. Because historically, it’s been a lot of guess work. So with metabolic typing, it’s really the first system that gives you the ability to really breakdown categorically what your metabolic needs are. When you talk about metabolic needs, there’s a lot of different systems that are in place in our bodies that essentially the primary focus and above everything in the body is homeostasis. Just maintaining balance in the human body. So when you’re looking at stresses that are coming from various sources which stress is such a huge problem in our modern life because we’re trying to do so much and it’s so cumulative and these stresses affect us in different ways and I think if you really look at the big picture, it’s quite apparent that the reasons why a lot of conventional wisdom meaning what western medicine has come up with and what most diet things that kind of come and go – if you want to call them fads or whatever – there’s a consistency that sometimes things work and sometimes things don’t work. So it’s an important point to look at because you have to ask the question why doesn’t it work for some people? And we get all these recommendations from the government and from the media and there’s a lot of just basic blanket recommendations that are put out there. And for the general population, if you adhere to a lot of these general recommendations, it’s probably going to be better than eating fast food which is what most people are doing. But certainly probably most of the people who are listening to this are probably more fine tuned. They have higher expectations for their bodies and their performance. So, these people are still struggling with weight control and energy and managing stress, managing training, recovering properly. And all of these things add up. So I think with metabolic typing it gets into this individuality and acknowledging the fact that we all come from a very unique background.
Ben: Right, and basically what you break people down into if I’m not mistaken – is it three metabolic types?
Tim Monaco: There are six different potential diet plans and then there are three different macronutritional ratios. So that would fat, protein and carbohydrate that is recommended.
Ben: And what’s kind of the way that you break people up? If I was going to go get metabolically typed and took the very comprehensive questionnaire that I know you have to take – I’ve taken it myself – what are you going to turn around and tell me? What are the labels that are used to identify people’s metabolic types?
Tim Monaco: I think the two prominent systems that are identified that have the biggest impact are what’s called the oxidative system. So what that tells us is how well your body oxidizes those different macronutrients. So converting carbohydrate, fat and protein into energy is what oxidation is. So some people are more adept at metabolizing carbohydrates efficiently. Other people are more adept at fat and protein. So it tends to be you’re either what we call a protein type and you need to eat a more heavy ratio of fat and proteins or a mixed type which is middle of the road or carbohydrate type which is a little heavier on the carbs. And the other axis we look at… if you were to graph it out, it’s kind of like a two dimensional axis – the autonomic system dominance. Autonomic nervous system is essentially the autopilot of our body and it’s always assessing stress and perceived threat to the system and that’s the ultimate control system. So we switch from sympathetic which a lot of people have heard the term fright or flight so it’s kind of regulating our nervous system. And perisympathetic is the rest and digest portion. So when you can recover and rest and sleep and digestion – things that are more restorative, more anabolic. So, we establish a dominance there as well. So using those two axes it generates a report and there’s also other factors that come into play and I don’t know if you want to get that deep into it but there’s nine different what they call functional homeostatic controls. So these are all these different variables and when the questionnaire has been refined to try and extract the information and that’s going to divide you into a certain camp and create these certain characteristics that are going to generate the particular diet that’s going to work best for you.
Ben: Gotcha. And I think that obviously when you’re talking to a doctor, he could go on for hours about the definitions and the science, but really what it comes down to is the application, the nitty gritty. People seeing what they can and can’t eat so to speak or what they should or shouldn’t eat for ideal energy or performance. So people come away from this metabolic typing with the meal plan that’s essentially like an eat this not that type of meal plan. Now what are some of the most common things that people ask you questions about and you know what, I’m going to go ahead and just start with two that I received this month. Someone wrote me an email. They’d just got done getting a metabolic typing test. They said they were told that they shouldn’t drink seltzer water or soda water. Now why would that be?
Tim Monaco: Well I think when you’re looking at a lot of these recommendations, there’s always the overall consideration of compliance and what is 100% compliance. So when we make recommendations, we’re saying this is the absolute, this is 100% compliance. And if you were to take it to the letter, you would get the best results. And generally, the more issues you’ve got, if you’re manifesting disease symptoms or you’ve got some serious physical issues that you need to start working back from, I am a lot more stringent about telling people to be 100% compliant because they really need to be. But for most athletes, if you’re 80-20 or 90-10, you’re doing pretty well and there’s always a bit of room for taking liberties and I think I always say you got to live a little. And as an athlete, you can kind of get away with a little bit anyway because you’re burning a lot of calories. So that being said, seltzer water is one of the things on the list that is a no. It’s recommended that you don’t drink seltzer water. And I think most people think…
Ben: And for which metabolic type is it that isn’t supposed to do that?
Tim Monaco: I believe it’s across the board. It’s one of those that’s applicable to all six. So it’s not necessarily a metabolic type issue and what I’ve learned, and honestly – when we were talking about this a couple of weeks ago, you were asking about some scientific backup on it and I haven’t been able to find anything on it yet. But in my metabolic typing advisors circle, it’s just one of these things that we’ve talked about and discussed that there’s been a lot of people who have experience that it has an effect on the insulin producing cells in your pancreas. So they’re called beta cells and one of the issues that will eventually manifest as diabetes is insulin resistance and insulin fatigue. So when you put too much stress on the whole sugar handling system of your body and just a quick overview of how that works is you’re eating sugar and carbohydrates. You eat more than your body can metabolize, your body has to get the sugar out of your blood because it’s dangerous if your blood sugar goes too high. So it secretes insulin which is a hormone that picks up sugar and it pulls it out of your bloodstream and stores it in your fat cells. So, that’s one of the reasons why carbohydrates are very dangerous and you have to really make sure that you’re not eating more than you need. So if you are habitually eating more carbs than you need, which is very common especially in the western world, you eventually will fatigue your insulin response and you’ll start to have more insulin resistance and you’ll start gaining weight, you’ll start getting more severe symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, your blood sugar will fluctuate a lot. So I actually – since you asked me about it, I had it on my list to go directly to the source. William Walcott is the gentleman who wrote the book on metabolic typing and his system is essentially what we utilize in Bioletics. So we run our tests through his company which is called Health Excel. So I want to go directly to him to get a little more backing on that. But it’s been – experientially it’s been one of those things that I think it’s better to avoid. Ultimately clean pure water with adding a little bit of Himalayan salt or a good quality sea salt is the ultimate beverage. And really if you want to be healthy that’s the only thing you should be drinking.
Ben: And why do you add the sea salt?
Tim Monaco: Well most waters… most people are drinking in municipal water supplies that have been treated and purified and it’s – I think ancestrally, our people would get their water from wells and it would be from the earth and when you’re getting artesian well water, it has a very broad profile of trace minerals and water is only utilized well by our body if it has the proper balance of trace minerals and electrolytes in it. So if you just drink a lot of pure water and you don’t have enough good quality salt and trace minerals, you’ll end up running it right through your body and you’ll be peeing all day. I would think if anybody has tried that, a lot of health professionals say you got to drink a lot of water – but if you don’t use enough good salt to keep it in your cells, it’s just going to run right through you and most people after two or three days of spending half the day in the bathroom, they give that up. So I always stress that hydration is critical but you’re only going to actually achieve hydration if you’re adding the right electrolytes and using – I really recommend Himalayan salt because I think that’s the most clean and pure source that’s available.
Ben: Gotcha. It seems when we did an interview with Dr. Cohen, I believe, he had talked about a link between that and testosterone. I think. If I remember correctly.
Tim Monaco: Yeah, absolutely. Minerals are really huge in the whole hormonal production and pathways and I think we talked a bit about the magnesium and how critical that is with hormonal production and it’s a lot of stuff that’s just come out recently. So it’s quite interesting. It’s all linked together.
Ben: Right, and for those of you listening in who want to listen to some of the previous interviews that go into more detail on the background behind all this, listen to podcast number 62 and 111. Those are the two previous podcasts that Tim has been on. 62 and 111. So Tim, how about meat. I noticed that in some meal plans, because a lot of times, a client or athletes will go to Bioletics, get tested but I’m still writing out their exercise programs and such. I noticed that meat and specifically white meat versus dark meat – white meat is recommended to some people and dark meat for others. Why is that?
Tim Monaco: Well, when you’re looking at the – I think it’s primarily oxidative system and what I mentioned before that when we determine which way you’re leaning, you can look at it as – I like to equate it as a fire. Your metabolic fire. So you kind of envision how well you burn or how hot your fire burns. So if you are leaning towards more of a carbohydrate type, I like to look at that as just a little fire. And if you are a protein type, you have a raging fire. I like to look at the fuels, by fuel mix – that’s what’s critical here. Carbohydrate is like kindling. It’s putting little tiny sticks on the fire. So if you have a small fire, you need a lot of kindling to get it going. But if you put kindling on a hot fire – if you put too many carbs in your fast oxidizer hot burning fire, you’re going to blow through it really quickly and you need more fuel. So that’s what ends up happening if you’re a fast oxidizer and you’re eating too many carbs. You have really big blood sugar fluctuations. You end up hungry, you end up overeating. You’re not getting the heavy fuel that you need. So fat and protein acts like a big log on your fire. So when you have a hot burning fire, you need heavy fuel. You need to put a big log on there. It’s going to give you a long burning time. So when you’re looking at different foods, you have to consider what kind of log that is. What kind of fuel source it is. So the heavier the fuel when it comes to more fat, then the more long burning quality it’s going to have. So for the people who are fast oxidizers and lean towards that, the meal plans are really heavy on fat. So all the protein choices are the fattier meats, the more oily fish. So it’s going to be the red meats. There’s one category, it’s all red meats – beef, buffalo, any kind of wild game is terrific. Your poultry would be favoring dark meat because that’s heavier in fat. Your fish is going to be more oily fish and shellfish which have a lot more fat in them. And then your dairy products are going to be full fat. So cream and full cream cheeses and so you’re essentially getting that long burn. And on the other extreme, if you’re a carbohydrate type, your food list would be the exact opposite. The red meats would not be recommended foods because they would end up bogging your system down. If you put a big log on a small fire, it’s going to snuff it out. You just don’t have the metabolic fire to burn it properly. And then the recommended poultry would be white meat and you would not be recommended to use dark meat and so on with the fish and the dairy products. You’re always going to be favoring the lighter and less fattier products.
Ben: Interesting. And so, in relation to the meats, I’ve heard the term different amino acids thrown around. Like purines. Is the content of amino acids in different meats different for each type in addition to those fats that you mentioned? Is it primarily the fats that people are concerned about?
Tim Monaco: Well the purines is a very important piece of it, and that’ something that is a big component of the recommended meats that are for fast oxidizers because the purines are part of the amino acid makeup and it’s another factor that makes something more of a long burning fuel source. And it’s another… it works in the opposite way as well. So if someone is a carbohydrate type and they eat high purine food, it’s really going to bog them down and they’re not going to feel as good. They’re not going to feel as energetic. They’re not really going to be able to burn it efficiently. So, it’s primarily where the animal products go in, is where the purines come into play. But there’s also some of the nuts, like peanuts are high in purine. So fast oxidizers – that’s one of the foods that are recommended for fast oxidizers. So there are heavier fuel purine foods that are not just meat based.
Ben: Gotcha. Now how about vegetables? I noticed that there are some vegetables that people are supposed to eat and some that they are supposed to avoid. What’s the deal with vegetables and why aren’t just vegetables good across the board?
Tim Monaco: Yeah, I think this is one of the most common question things when we go through this process and I have to be honest that when I was introduced to metabolic typing, I had the same response. Because the general view and consensus is that vegetables are always good in any amount. And I think really qualifying what is good is an important thing because the food as it is, it has value. No matter what it is, a vegetable is always going to be a quality food. It’s always going to have a good amount of nutrients in it and a good amount of vegetables, minerals, enzymes. It has a lot of water and fiber along with it. It’s low glycemic in general, which is recommended. It’s not going to affect your blood sugar as much as other carbohydrate sources. So across the board, vegetables are good. But the thing that really distinguishes and differentiates metabolic typing is that through a lot of research and trial and error, there’s been – I kind of look at them as the forefathers that have been working on these ideas for 100 years. And if anybody is interested in resources, I could get some things out there. Some of the pioneers. There’s someone called Weston Price who did a ton of research in the late 1800s, early 1900s. He wrote a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, which is one of the epic books. It started I think a lot of the holistic nutrition that’s been very underground in the industrial revolution era. Francis Pottinger is another name that you can look up and there’s tons of papers and research that these men have done. It’s really basic stuff. It’s getting back to our ancestors and what worked. Literally what got us here in the first place. It’s what got us to be the largest brained, top of the food chain species on the planet. And it’s only been in the last couple hundred of years and in the industrial revolution that things have gone haywire, because we’ve gone away from what has worked. So getting back to the whole thing with the foods. Any particular food has the potential to create a shift in your body. I mentioned before these functional homeostatic controls. So, different foods have been identified to have a certain kind of effect in one direction or the other for these different types. So if you happen to be on one end of the spectrum, you could eat a food – you and I – you’re the same type as me. A fast oxidizer. And I always make the example of broccoli. Broccoli is not a recommended food for a fast oxidizer and everybody on the planet thinks broccoli is great for them. Even if they don’t really like it. So, broccoli, because we happen to be on one end of the spectrum has the quality of creating more of an acidic push in our system where meat actually creates more of an alkaline push, which is completely opposite of common wisdom. There’s hundreds of books out there that tell you that meat makes you acidic and vegetables make you alkaline. But it’s not the case for everyone. It’s different. We’re all biochemically different and we all come from different ancestors so it’s silly to think that every food is going to react the same in every body in the planet. So that’s really what it comes down to. The ultimate test is put it to the test in yourself. Whenever I go through this process, it’s these are the recommendations but really ultimately it’s up to you to put things into play. And then start paying attention and I think taking the metabolic typing test, getting all these results will get you a good way there. It would probably bring you to about 90% of what’s going to work, but there’s always a bit of fine tuning and a little bit of variability from person to person. So some people might tolerate things better than others. There’s no absolutes. It’s really – everybody’s their own science project, and the more you can embrace that, the better. But you also need good tools to really guide you and give you some good sign posts to work with along the way.
Ben: Gotcha. So, in addition to vegetables, another thing I’ve noticed is legumes. Some legumes might be better than others for certain metabolic types. You talked about how nuts – higher fat nuts – are better for some of the fast oxidizer protein type eaters and to choose the nuts that are higher than fats. Now how about legumes? Are there certain legumes that certain metabolic types should avoid? When we’re talking about peanuts and beans and peas and stuff like that?
Tim Monaco: Yeah. Definitely, there’s been some separation and distinguishing between different food categories and you’ve seen this Ben on your food list, but when you do get – and everybody out there who’s listening, if the food list is broken into categories so it’s little columns. Within each category… so you’ve got nuts and seeds, you’ve got grains, you’ve got greens, you’ve got vegetables, legumes and then your meats are broken down and fruits are separate. So, they’re essentially giving you ones that work and there are some types that are quite liberal. Like the mixed types actually, you can eat everything. But the challenge of being a mixed type is that you need to pair your foods properly to create balance. So it’s almost like the mixed people are in the middle of the seesaw. So they can go off track going in either direction. If they get off balance where a carbohydrate type is on one end of the seesaw and the protein type is on the other end of the seesaw. So those two types are virtually opposite in what they need to eat. So if you took a diet plan of a fast oxidizer and just put it next to the diet plan of a slow oxidizer, it’s the same plan flipped. The foods are just the opposite. So with the nuts and seeds, I think the ones that are higher in purines, higher in fat. So for a fast oxidizer, walnuts, pecans, macadamias, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts are the recommended nuts. And then things that are not recommended are almonds, pistachios, sesame, cashew, pine nuts, poppy seeds, sunflower. So, again it’s kind of – some people may not notice so much but ultimately you need to consider that every little thing you do and each little thing you eat may be affecting you in a way that you’re not really noticing and I look at it like all these little – probably everybody’s who’s listening is probably a triathlete or a cyclist – think about…
Ben: Actually that’s only about 40% of the audience. But yeah there are a lot of listeners listening in who are triathletes or cyclists, yeah.
Tim Monaco: The analogy I like to use is when your brakes are rubbing. So we’re all trying to go down the road as fast as we can in life and use our energy for the important things that our body needs energy for. But every little thing that you’re doing potentially that you don’t even realize is like having your brakes rubbing. So it’s creating stress and it’s something that your body has to use some of that energy and vitality is going to get pulled away from the important things it’s supposed to be doing and it’s having to address another thing and create balance and homeostasis in one of these systems. So, I always – starting at this process, I recommend people try to be as compliant and 100% as possible for at least a month and to really just give yourself a clean slate to work with. And then once you get there and there are some other tools that we provide to help fine tune on a daily basis and checking, seeing how you’re feeling and seeing how you’re responding to the food that you’re eating. And then once you feel like things are really stabilized, you have a fighting chance of actually noticing if something is going to have a negative effect on you. So, I think some people are just willing to just go for it. And I think other people are “I don’t know. This is a little bit questionable.” But either way, you have to give it a chance for it to work.
Ben: Now, are there other confusing elements of meal plans and metabolic typing rules per se that you get questions about?
Tim Monaco: Well I think one thing that is a common belief, let’s say, that you should be eating a wide variety of foods. Probably most people think that. I think most people don’t think they eat enough variety of foods because they’re not getting a variety of nutrients theoretically. But I think metabolic typing actually supports kind of an opposite view. You should be eating the foods that work for you and that metabolically, you are suited to have balance and optimize everything that’s working in your body on a certain subgroup of foods. So, it’s kind of like reframing that whole idea. And ultimately when you’re thinking about micronutrients, talking about vitamins and minerals, these types are actually – that’s taken into consideration when you’re looking at the foods that are recommended. So if you are primarily eating a fast oxidizer and the recommendations are for heavy fat and heavy protein, those foods are going to be the ones that are fulfilling you on a macronutrient ratio, for a fuel mix and it’s also going to be fulfilling you on a micronutritional ratio. So if you’re eating too many vegetables, in particular the vegetables that aren’t suited for your type, you’re going to be getting inappropriate amounts or excessive amounts of certain nutrients that your body doesn’t really need and that’s one of the prime driving factors that can push you away from balance and cause imbalance in your body.
Ben: Gotcha. Alright, well cool. Like I said, there are podcasts where we get into detail with Tim and Dr. Cohen about Bioletics. And one thing you could do is go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for Bioletics to listen in a little bit more. You can also click on the couple of links to the previous interviews with Tim that I’ll put in the Shownotes and then also, if you want to go take the questionnaire to find out what your metabolic type is, this goes way beyond the type of free questionnaires that a lot of times you’ll find floating around the internet or in books. It’s very comprehensive and I know Tim is very good at working with people after they get that questionnaire filled out in terms of really helping you along. But I’ll put a link to that metabolic typing package from Bioletics in the Shownotes. So you can go check that out. And if you have questions, if you have specific questions about metabolic typing and you’ve been typed or you’re planning on being typed or you know someone who’s been typed and there are things that confuse you, then leave them as a comment or a question on the episode Shownotes and we’ll address those and hunt down the answer for you. So Tim, I’d like to thank you for your time and for coming on the call today.
Tim Monaco: You’re very welcome. It’s good to be here.
Ben: Alright folks, well this is Tim Monaco and Ben Greenfield signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net