Blood Sugar and Premature Aging

Sugar–even small amounts speeds up the aging process

GrumpyBlood Sugar, Insulin and Aging—The Damaging Effects of Sugar

Besides the formation of the highly destructive AGE’s, sugar, in all forms (fructose, sucrose, glucose, galactose, lactose and others) has other ways of inflicting serious damage to your body and speeding up the aging process.

Fructose is the worst of all sugars, but all forms of sugar that affect your body’s blood sugar levels, as well as the resulting insulin can be harmful. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola:

“Fructose in particular is extremely pro-inflammatory, promoting AGE’s and speeding up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. In one study, 16 volunteers on a high-fructose diet produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs in just 10 weeks.”

So the internally and externally, limiting sugar in all forms, will go a long way towards slowing down the aging process.

Sugar, especially fructose and sucrose, increase insulin and leptin levels, while decreasing your body’s ability to effectively counteract that rise in blood sugar. This is a major cause of degenerative diseases.

Sugar also weakens or paralyzes the immune system, making your more susceptible to infectious disease, or complications of minor diseases. For example, that minor cold can become the flu, pneumonia or bronchitis—and in some cases deadly if you are elderly and in frail health.

The average American eating a stereotypical Standard American Diet consumes 2.5 pounds of sugar a WEEK. And when you think about adding in the other processed foods such as white or wheat bread, pasta, pastries, and all the refined carbohydrates, which turn into sugar in the body, it’s no wonder there is such a huge increase in diabetes.

Could it be that sugar is THAT bad? In a word…YES!

Let’s define what we are talking about when we say ‘sugar’. We usually think of sugar as the white stuff that sits in cute little bowls on our tables, or in those cute little colorful packets atrestaurants. The truth is there are many different types of sugars and our bodies do not react to all of them in the same way.

“High fructose corn syrup” is the form of sugar that you see on virtually every label of processed or packaged foods, or in most soft drinks. There are many other forms of sugar but for now, let’s concentrate on the two most often consumed sugars, sucrose and fructose.

Regular white table sugar (and brown sugar) is called ‘sucrose’. Sucrose is composed of one molecule of glucose bonded to a molecule of fructose. So, that makes sucrose about 50% glucose and 50% fructose. Fructose is 2x sweeter than glucose. Since table sugar is half fructose, it is lots sweeter than starches (which are also considered a type of sugar) in potatoes, bread or other carbs that also turn into glucose in the body.

The more fructose in any type of sugar, the sweeter it is.

High fructose corn syrup is 55% fructose and 45% glucose. So that makes it sweeter than regular table sugar. Since white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are both a combination of glucose and fructose in our guts, our bodies are going to react in basically the same way to both.

The harmful effects of sugar have to do with the way your body metabolizes the fructose portion of the sugar. For instance, if we eat 100 calories of starchy foods like pasta or potatoes (which is converted to glucose in the body) or 100 calories of table sugar (remember basically 50/50% of glucose and fructose), they are metabolized differently and have a different effect in your body.

This is key:

  • Fructose is metabolized by our livers.
  • Glucose from sugar and starches is metabolized in our cells.
Why does this matter?

Consuming cane sugar or HFCS causes your liver to work very hard to process the fructose. If that sugar comes in a liquid form like soda or fruit juice, the fructose hits your system instantly and causes your liver to go into overdrive in an attempt to process it. And the fructose in High Fructose Corn Syrup hits your liver even faster than regular cane sugar because the fructose is not bound to the glucose in it. So your liver gets a massive shot of fructose!

When fructose is ingested quickly in larger quantities, the liver immediately converts it to fat. The fat becomes a substance called triglycerides, a key contributor to heart disease. Some of these triglycerides float around in your bloodstream and get stored as fat on your body.

However, excess fat is also stored in the liver. Ever hear of ‘fatty liver disease’? When the liver starts storing excess amounts of fat, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome follow, and not far behind then, is type 2 diabetes.

The result—accelerated aging, chronic disease and ultimately, death—all from excess sugar.

Some other ways fructose accelerates aging and disease:

  • Fructose elevates uric acid, which not only leads to high blood pressure, but also chronic, low-level inflammation which can affect virtually every system in yourbody to speed up aging and multiple chronic diseases. Ever heard of gout? This is a painful form of arthritis in which the uric acid forms crystals on joints, mainly in the feet and hands.
  • Fructose tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite- control system. Consuming foods containing fructose actually makes you hungrier, by confusing your hormones. You don’t feel full when you should, so you keep eating.
  • Fructose quickly and easily leads to weight gain and abdominal obesity (yes, this is where the dreaded “belly fat” comes from), decreased HDL (good cholesterol), increased LDL (bad cholesterol), elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure, which leads to metabolic syndrome. And of course, it can continue straight to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

In 1980, only about 1 in 7 Americans were obese, and about 6 million people had diabetes—it was not a common disease. Today, 1 in 3 Americans are obese, and 19 million Americans have diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet (2011).

Another seven million people are estimated to have undiagnosed diabetes. That’s 26 million people! Add to that another 79 million people with ‘pre-diabetes’.

That’s staggering!! That combined number is approximately 100 million people with diabetes or pre-diabetes in the United States. That’s one third of the population!

Diabetes leads directly to premature aging (including wrinkly, saggy skin) and more serious complications including:

  • Heart disease and strokes
  • High blood pressure
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Nervous system disease (neuropathy)
  • Amputations of extremitiesWe know that one of the most accurate predictors of heart disease and diabetes is a condition called ‘metabolic syndrome’. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) at least 75 million Americans have metabolic syndrome, and probably many more have it but have not yet been diagnosed.What is metabolic syndrome? It means your body has become resistant to insulin. Normally when you eat carbs or sugar, blood sugar goes up, insulin is then released to counter the rise in blood sugar, and blood sugar goes back to a normal level.If your diet is high in sugars and starchy foods, your body is continually pumping out insulin to lower your blood sugar. Eventually your cells stop responding to insulin, and your pancreas cannot create enough insulin in response to the demand, and it becomes exhausted. Blood sugar levels begin rise out of control, and stay constantly high, until you end up with type 2 diabetes.Add one more deadly disease that is tied directly to sugar and insulin—Cancer.

According to World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer: Your chances of getting cancer are much higher if you are obese, diabetic or insulin resistant.

What’s the connection? Sugar.

And, your chances of dying from a form of malignant cancer are way higher if your diet is high in sugar. Cancer researchers now know that the problem with insulin resistance and cancer is that as we secrete more insulin, we also secrete a related hormone known as ‘insulin-like growth factor’, and the insulin encourages bigger tumor growth.

Craig Thompson, president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, says many human cancers depend on insulin for fuel to grow and multiply. Some cancers develop mutations that actually feed off the insulin, and other cancers just take advantage of the elevated blood sugar and insulin levels from those with metabolic syndrome, obesity or type 2 diabetes.

Many of the pre-cancerous cells would never acquire the mutations that transform them into malignant tumors if they weren’t being driven by insulin to take up more and more blood sugar and metabolize it.

The Trouble With Grains

When you take a look at the food supply of highly civilized societies, the common denominator is an overload of carbohydrates and processed grains—often combined with sugar or fructose (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) to make that starchy stuff even more desirable and addictive. Our bodies quickly begin to crave that junk and the short term high we get from those foods.

Wheat and corn are two of the worst carbohydrates for raising blood sugar and increasing aging.

Cave men didn’t eat grains–at least nowhere close to the form we eat today. And, consumption of grain in civilized countries has been increasing for the last 30-50 years, to the point where grain is the primary food in many people’s diets.

As grain consumption has gone up, so have the numbers of obese and overweight people–in direct relationship to grain consumption.

Today, flours are more refined than ever, missing fiber and essential nutrients. The modernized version of wheat, triticum aestivum, is very different from the wheat used by our ancestors.

Modern wheat has been genetically altered and manipulated to become a far different plant than it previously was.

The gluten proteins in modern wheat are much different than the gluten in the wheat of the past. This is possibly one of the reasons for the sudden increase in the incidence of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Wheat gluten can be related to a whole range of inflammatory diseases, and even for those who are seemingly not gluten-sensitive, it causes low-level, long-term inflammation.

Many people would never connect these symptoms with eating grains; but weight gain, and emotional, physical, and mental symptoms are fairly frequent with gluten sensitivity–whether you think you have a problem with gluten, or not.

Gluten sensitivity dramatically increases inflammation not only in the digestive system, but in the whole body system as well. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease also block the absorption of important nutrients, creating deficiencies that lead to frequent illnesses, chronic disease, a weakened immune system, mental problems, and dementia.

Wheat also contains a type of sugar called Amylopectin A that raises blood sugar shockingly high. Eating just two slices of whole wheat bread (the kind we’re told is ‘healthy’) raises blood sugar higher than eating two Tablespoons of pure cane sugar.

High blood sugar leads to insulin release, fat storage, weight gain, production of AGE’s, and inflammation. It’s a vicious circle.

All of this leads to accelerated aging and chronic disease.

Corn may be an even bigger problem. Bumper crops of corn keeps corn prices low which in turn helps to keep many of the items we buy at the store low-priced. Corn, in some form, is in an overwhelming majority of packaged foods that we buy from conventional grocery stores.

Corn has a very high sugar content and it blocks nutrients from being utilized in the body.It can cause a variety health issues, such as dermatitis, diarrhea, and depression.

So, a diet high in processed grains—especially corn and wheat—actually hastens the aging process and causes increased inflammation and susceptibility to disease.

Control Blood Sugar to Slow Aging

Eating a more Paleolithic type diet that is mostly grain-free is a very good way to control blood sugar and the resulting AGE’s as well. This type of diet emphasizes eating real foods, such as naturally raised (grass fed) meat and fish, along with ample amounts of healthy fats, while avoiding grains, processed foods and sugars.

Foods higher in fiber are low glycemic, as well as foods that are primarily fat or protein. When eating a food that has a high sugar or starch content, such as fruit, pair it with a protein and/or a healthy fat to slow down the absorption in the digestive system. This helps to keep blood sugar low as well.

Meats and other proteins such as cheese, eggs, fish and chicken are all low glycemic. Avoid processed meats, though, including lunchmeat and sausages, as these often have surprisingly high amounts of sugar in them.

Healthy fats are low glycemic as well. Extra virgin olive oil, butter, avocados, cheeses, nuts, coconuts and coconut oil are all low glycemic.

Focusing on low glycemic foods instead of processed, packaged foods with added refined starches and sugar goes a long way towards avoiding blood sugar ups and downs and ultimately is the key to a longer life, and slowing the entire aging process.

The Number 1 WORST Food for Your Skin, Joints and Blood Sugar

This food that you may eat daily, ages the body, causes arthritis, spikes blood sugar and increases wrinkling and sagging of skin…

breadI’ve got a great article today from my co-author, Mike Geary, who has some surprising facts about one of the foods most people eat daily. You may be shocked to read this!!

And please check out my new Anti-Aging book for only $9. It’s been selling like crazy!


Click here to find out—The #1 WORST Food that CAUSES Faster Aging (beware!)





CatheadandshouldersCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

             Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                                       Diet and Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.



Aging Better with Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important to optimal health, and can affect everything from your immune system (one of the biggest reasons people tend to get sick in the winter) to how well you age…

mamma loves tootieVitamin D is of primary importance to optimal health, and can affect everything from your immune system (one of the biggest reasons people tend to get sick in the winter), to hormone balance, weight gain or loss, muscle strength, bone density, cancer risk, and mental health. Other studies show that vitamin D helps with rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, cancer prevention, blood pressure, and heart disease.

 And most importantly, vitamin D has been scientifically proven to stop or slow the aging process!

And while some of us may be younger and some of us are older, the one fact you cannot argue with is that we are all growing older—whether its fast or slow–so anything that helps us age better is something we can all use.

In a recent British study of over 2100 female twins, scientist looked at telomeres, which are the part of DNA that shortens with aging. (Twins have very similar DNA, so differences were easily noted within the experiment.) One group of the twins was taking vitamin and mineral supplements and the other was not. At the end of the test period, the telomeres of each group were measured.

Telomeres are the lengths of genetic material that cap the free ends of DNA in a cell, and are one of the most reliable measures of aging. As a person ages, the telomeres shorten and the DNA becomes more unstable until eventually the cell dies. While telomeres are all the same length at birth, lifestyle factors such as diet, nutrition, exercise, and other environmental factors will speed up or slow down the length of time it takes for these to deteriorate.

The study found that those with the highest vitamin D levels had significantly longer telomeres, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, meaning that those with higher levels of vitamin D aged more slowly. And the best part–

Researchers found that those in the study with the highest vitamin D levels had DNA that was the equivalent of five years’ younger!

This is one of the reasons that vitamin D has such a strong protective effect on many age-related diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin D is primarily made in the skin after exposure to sunlight. It actually takes the UVB rays to convert the sunlight on your skin to vitamin D. Getting sunshine on your skin for at least 20-40 minutes in the middle of the day, when UVB rays are present, is the best way to get natural vitamin D, based on your skin pigmentation (darker-skinned people need more, and lighter-skinned people need less).

 However, from around October to March, if you happen to live in the northern hemisphere, north of 30-35 degrees latitude (roughly north of a line from Los Angeles, California, over to Atlanta, Georgia), the UVB rays are too weak to stimulate vitamin D production.

And if you live even further north, like in Canada or northern Europe, you will need to supplement your vitamin D close to nine months or more out of the year. This means you will have to supplement with vitamin D in the winter AND in the summer, especially if you work or stay inside during the day.

The problem is that many of us have become so sun-phobic and afraid of skin cancer that we are now seriously lacking in this essential pro-hormone.

But—increasing Vitamin D levels from regular small doses of sunshine can actually decrease one’s cancer risk!

According to Dr. William Grant, a noted vitamin D researcher, cancer rates in people living at higher latitudes, such as Iceland, are approximately 4 times higher than the cancer rates of those living at lower latitudes in the tropics.

Our human ancestors functioned well with continual exposure to sunlight, which was estimated at levels of 15,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D a day!

Humans were never really designed to get vitamin D solely from food—we were made to get it from being outside in the sunshine. While many of the foods we buy may say, “vitamin D fortified”, in truth, very few foods such as fatty fish (cod liver oil), eggs, and organic liver, naturally contain vitamin D. In fact, the paltry amounts of vitamin D in most vitamin D fortified foods means most people would need to eat 8-10 servings just to meet the current RDA (Recommended Daily Amount), and as we know, the RDA is the bare minimum, not the optimal amount.

The best form of vitamin D is from sun exposure. You cannot overdose on this kind of natural vitamin D; the body converts only what it needs for optimal health. However in winter months when the sun is not strong enough to create vitamin D, or if you are indoors during the day or live in a northern climate, you will need a supplement. That means here in the Midwest too, until sometime in March.

When choosing a vitamin D supplement, it is important to take the natural form of vitamin D, which is vitamin D3, not D2 which is artificially derived.

The optimal healthy range of vitamin D in the blood is around 50-70ng/mg, which can be achieved by taking a supplement of at least 1000IU to 5000IU, according to Dr. Heaney at the Creighton University Medical Center.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola’s recommendation, however, adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D3 per day to reach the optimal levels of 40-50 ng/ml, which should be modified for the seasons if you are in the sun more during the spring and summer.

Too much supplemental vitamin D can lead to toxicity, so it’s a good idea to consult with your physician to get vitamin D levels measured to get a more accurate idea of how to much to take.

Always take vitamin D with meals. When vitamin D is taken with the largest meal of the day, studies show the highest increase in blood levels of vitamin D. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, taking it with a meal that contains some healthy fats help it absorb in the body better.

I highly recommend an OIL-BASED vitamin D3 supplement as it’s better absorbed by your body.  Unfortunately, many D3 supplements use refined soybean oil as their oil of choice, so read labels, since soybean oil is not the optimal type of oil.

Till Next Time,

Stay Healthy, Lean and Young!



Cat profile close upCatherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes. Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

             Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                                       Diet and Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.

Powerful Antioxidant, Anti-Inflammatory Applesauce with Turmeric

The yellow color in curry, and mustard, too, comes from a spice called Turmeric, and it has some amazing health benefits.


Do you like mustard? Or–what about curry?

Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a dye, as a spice for dishes, and also in traditional Indian medicine. Turmeric has some of the world’s most powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties of any food or spice you can eat.

What is turmeric and why should I add it to my foods?

Turmeric grows as a shrub in India and tropical parts of Asia, and it’s roots are ground up to make turmeric. The primary ingredient in turmeric is something called curcumin and it is deep yellow. This deep yellow spice has  incredible medicinal properties as well as it’s pungent taste and color.

Indian medicine uses this spice as a cleansing agent in the body, an aid for digestion, and in treatments for fevers, infections, liver and gall bladder problems, and arthritis. It is also known to help burn fat–by raising metabolism, and is known to prevent heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. In fact it it one of the reasons scientists actually think eastern Indians have so few incidences of Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly. This powerful spice is also known to be very effective in killing cancer cells as well.

The massive amounts of antioxidants shut down free radicals which are a primary cause in aging, disease and cancer. Many natural practitioners actually recommend turmeric when a potent antioxidant or anti-inflammatory is needed.

Turmeric  also stimulates  the flow of bile in the gall bladder and therefore is very effective as a digestive aid and fat-burning compound. It is very effective at lowering inflammation from IBS, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis and other digestive diseases.

For the heart, it contains strong anti-platelet substances which help prevent the blood from clotting too easily, and so is very effective against heart attacks and strokes as well as lowering homocystine in the body, which is a key predictor of heart attacks.

This powerful anti-inflammatory works as well as Ibuprofin as a treatment for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint pain.

Turmeric is a powerful weapon to fight cancer. This super spice can prevent tumors from growing or slow the growth and spread of cancer cells. In fact, a research study done with mice injected with cancer cells, the curcumin in turmeric was proven to be more than twice as effective as the cancer drug paclitaxel (Taxol).

One of the standout qualities of turmeric is its effectiveness against Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s victims  are known to have a buildup of a certain type of plaque in the brain, and turmeric is highly effective at breaking down this plaque with its powerful anti-inflammatory compounds.

Ok, so how to eat turmeric? You don’t have to eat curry every day!

One way to get high concentrations of curcumin is to use the spice turmeric in some of your cooking and recipes.

Curry contains turmeric, but is usually a combination of several spices and you may not get as much turmeric as you would using pure turmeric. That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to curry too, since it is a blend of several spices, but you can buy turmeric on its own.

Try to get creative and test using turmeric and/or curry on various foods so you can benefit as much as possible from this potent super-spice…

This spice doesn’t have to be used just for curries. It is delicious on sautéed apples, or steamed cauliflower, green beans and onions, or any of your favorite veggies. In fact, I add it to just about everything.

Turmeric is also a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils. Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue and a little extra flavor by adding some turmeric powder to them.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in healthy recipes. One of my favorite ways is to add a healthy dose of it to egg salad or to scrambled eggs. It adds a great flavor, and gives the eggs a delicious rich yellow hue.

Get turmeric in your diet and take advantage of its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits!

I am always looking for good ways to add this awesome spice to my meals, so I decided to add it to homemade applesauce, and came up with this tasty dish. This applesauce dish is just delish–and it’s a great way to add turmeric to your diet.

Curry and Turmeric Applesauce

In a pan, cut up (peel or leave peels on) 2-4 organic granny smith apples

Add 2-4 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon organic butter

1 tsp (or more) fresh curry powder

1 Tablespoon Turmeric

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup or so of raisins (optional)

1/4 cup of pecans or almonds

1 Tablespoon of sugar, honey or maple syrup (optional)

Cook and stir over medim-low heat until apples are soft and begin to fall apart. Serve warm or cold.


Inflammation–Silent and Sneaky Partner of Aging and Disease

Inflammation can cause aches and pains, arthritis, bursitis, or any type of health issue that ends in -‘itis’. Inflammation can lead to…


Inflammation is actually a product of our immune system, and is our body’s protective response to injury, dangerous bacteria, viruses, or toxins. Normally it is part of a healthy immune response to prevent dangerous invaders from taking over our bodies.

Primitive man needed a strong immune system to fight off dangerous and deadly diseases and infections. Today there are relatively few infectious diseases our immune systems need to fight. While the ability to thrive and survive as humans had a lot to do with the strength of our immune systems, it seems in the absence of many infectious diseases, our immune systems and inflammation have turned on ourselves.

Inflammation can cause aches and pains, arthritis, bursitis, or any type of health issue that ends in -‘itis’.

Some of the more subtle forms of inflammation can include sore stiff muscles, tendonitis, joint aches, acne, red eyes, itchy irritated nose, itchy, rashy skin, allergies, swelling or puffiness, and more. Inflammation can be as minor as a pimple on your nose or as major as a heart attack.

Long term inflammation can cause heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, certain forms of cancer, diminished mental and physical energy, the loss of muscle mass and wrinkled, sagging skin.

Even though inflammation is our body’s natural response to protect our bodies from invaders, unfortunately, our overly active immune systems and the inflammatory response end up damaging our own bodies. Often inflammation is sneaky and silent, but can be deadly, too. Inflammation may be totally invisible to our own eyes, and often only specific blood tests can uncover high inflammation levels.

It used to be thought that aging came with chronic inflammation, which then progressed to chronic disease. Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to breakdown of collagen, destruction of the joints, blood vessels, digestive system, brain and nerve tissue and other organ systems, and premature aging, disease and ultimately, death.

What we now know, though, is that aging does not have be accompanied by inflammation, meaning that many of us can live to a ripe old age without chronic disease.

According to Russell Tracy, professor of pathology and biochemistry at University of Vermont College of Medicine, and a pioneer in research that demonstrated the role of inflammation in heart disease:

“Inflammatory factors predict virtually all bad outcomes in humans. It predicts heart attacks, heart failure, diabetes, becoming fragile in old age, cognitive function decline, and even cancer…”

Elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease (a chronic, progressive, degenerative disease of the brain), show areas of the human brain clogged up with neurofibrillary tangles and plaques. These same patients show many inflammatory cells and cytokines (a product of the immune system response). Clearly Alzheimer’s disease has a strong association to inflammation.

In diabetes, inflammation and insulin resistance work their destruction together. High blood sugar raises the body’s inflammatory markers. The drugs that seem to restore insulin sensitivity are also effective at reducing the body’s inflammatory markers like IL-6 and CRP.

Even osteoporosis and depression may have inflammatory roots, along with age-associated weakness. Scientists have even found that inflammatory activity breaks down skeletal muscle, leading to the loss of lean muscle mass. And on top of that, extra body fat tends to make these diseases strike earlier, because fat cells increase inflammation, and bring on accelerated aging.

Often low-level inflammation in our bodies is nothing like the raging infection, high fever or allergic reaction that you can’t help but notice. As inflammation in various parts of the body simmers in the background, over the years, damage beings to accumulate–in the heart, the brain, your nerves, your digestive system, your bones and joints and more.

What you eat, and how much you eat has a definite effect on the level of inflammation in your body.

Some of the ‘healthy’ foods you eat every day may actually be causing inflammation in your body.

Food allergies and sensitivities, can actually be one of the biggest contributors to inflammation.

And, guess what? The typical high-carb/high grain, low fat diet  is extremely inflammatory.  Refined sugar and other high glycemic, grain based foods make blood sugar and insulin levels rise, and put the immune system on high alert. High insulin levels also activate enzymes that raise levels of inflammatory arachidonic acid in our blood.

Allergies or not, much of the inflammation in our bodies begins in our digestive systems with reactions to common foods eaten every day like pasteurized dairy, corn and wheat. These foods contain proteins that easily spark the inflammatory cascade. You may be eating these foods on a daily basis and they are causing inflammation–and you not even know it!

All forms of sugar, processed foods, pasta, breads, pastry, baked goods, and snack foods such as rice and corn cakes, chips, pretzels, etc., cause a highly destructive pro-inflammatory response in our bodies. If we choose sugary or starchy foods, we trigger this pro-inflammatory release of sugar into our bloodstream.

Your best bet to dramatically decrease inflammation is to cut out wheat/gluten, corn and dairy for two weeks and note the difference. Add in one food at a time and see how your body reacts. Wait 24 hours before adding another foods. Many people often find a surprising difference in how they feel with increased energy levels, better moods, clearer skin, absence of aches and pains and a loss of weight.

Fats and Inflammation

Once thought of as healthy, polyunsaturated oils like safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, peanut and soy, are primarily made up of omega 6 fatty acids. Our diets have an overabundance of omega 6 fats, which creates an unhealthy imbalance. Without enough omega 3 fatty acids to hold omega 6 fats in the proper ratio, the body turns the omega 6 fats into arachidonic acid, which is highly inflammatory.

The proper balance of omega 6 fats to omega 3 fats is about 2:1 or 1:1. Unfortunately, most diets (heavy in grains, vegetable oils and grain-fed meat) are out of balance with regard to omega 6 and omega 3 fats. A standard diet often has a ratio of about 20:1, omega 6’s to omega 3’s. A diet this heavy in omega 6 fats increases inflammation in the body.

These unhealthy fats compete with omega 3 fats in our cell membrane (which is made up of fatty acids). When the cell membrane is made up primarily of omega 6 fats and trans fats, the membrane actually becomes less resilient and brittle, which limits the exchange of nutrients and oxygen. This poorly structured cell cannot fight dangerous invaders effectively, and eventually weakens and dies.

Both trans fats and omega 6 fats encourage the storage of body fat, especially in the abdomen. Excess belly fat, which can be measured as a waist size of 35 inches or more for a woman and 40 inches or more for a man, means higher levels of inflammation, since abdominal fat produces inflammatory chemicals in the body.

A diet heavy in omega 6 fatty acids (vegetable oils) actually increases wrinkling and aging of the skin as well leading to more cancerous changes from exposure the sun. In test subjects, dietary omega 6 fatty acids increased levels of PGE(2), an inflammatory messenger chemical that promoted the growth of pre-cancerous and cancerous skin cell changes.

Fortunately there are several anti-inflammatory fats, which are highly effective in helping our bodies stay younger and fight the affects of aging and inflammation.

Omega 3 fats contain two components that fight inflammation in our bodies: EPA and DHA.

The anti-inflammatory properties of EPA have been studied at length and proven to fight inflammation and a variety of health issues from depression, to heart disease and cancer.

It is important to note:

grain fed meat and farm-raised fish contain primarily omega 6 fats, while

wild-caught fish and grass fed meat contain mostly anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats.

Monounsaturated oils like extra-virgin olive oil, oil from nuts, avocados, and coconuts are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants that fight inflammation.

Below is a list of foods, oils and spices that counteract inflammation.

Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Spices And Nutrients

Certain spices, herbs and teas contain some very powerful compounds that fight inflammation. Some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory phytochemicals are in these herbs and spices:

  • Turmeric
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Cloves
  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Chili Peppers

Some of the spiciest anti-inflammatory additions to a meal are hot peppers–including jalapeños, habeneros, and cayenne peppers. Chili peppers of all types include capsaicin (the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains), which is a potent inhibitor of a substance in the body associated with inflammation. Capsaicin also helps to raise metabolism and burn fat as well.

Green, white, oolong, and rooibos tea contain potent catechins, bioflavonoids and polyphenols that reduce inflammation and limit free radical production. Drinking 2 cups of these kinds of tea a day, can reduce inflammation significantly, as well as adding powerful antioxidants that fight aging and disease.

Foods High in Anti-Inflammatory Fats




Grass fed Meats

Free range, organic eggs



Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Coconut oil

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Chocolate (70% or more cacao)

Red Grapes


Shiitake mushrooms




Brussels sprouts



Jalapeño Pepper

Habenero Pepper

Banana Pepper

Chili Peppers


Look for the new 101 Anti-Aging Superfoods and the Anti-Aging Superfoods Recipe book due out this week! 


Till next time,

Stay healthy and lean and young!



Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN,is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition. She also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease, lose weight, and live their best life ever.
Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.


The Fat Burning Kitchen will get you started on the path to a healthy diet, weight loss and vibrant health.You will notice a difference in the first 24 hours! Learn about the so-called ‘health’ foods you may be eating that are actually ruining your health, and causing you to gain weight. And find out the best, fat-burning super-powered nutritious foods to eat to lose fat, gain boundless energy, and feel better than you ever have!



These Foods Accelerate AGE-ing in Your Body

AGE’s are the key to aging in our bodies. AGE’s are responsible for wrinkly, sagging skin, diabetes, and damage to blood vessels. Where do they come from?


AGE’s That Age Us

What are AGE’s? AGE’s are Advanced Glycation Endproducts. AGE’s can be either in the food you eat or formed within your body. AGE’s occur when sugar molecules attach to protein or fat molecules without an enzyme.

So what’s the big deal about this, you ask?

Well, AGE’s are a serious promoter of aging in the body, as well as the beginnings of many chronic diseases. In fact AGE’s are one of the biggest factors in diabetes, heart disease and others as well.

These AGE’s form a sticky plaque-like substance in the brain, nerve tissue, and the rest of the body. It is reported that when AGE’s are consumed, about 10-30% are absorbed into the body. The body’s ability to eliminate these once they are absorbed is very limited, meaning that once these gunky, gooey, nasty things get in human cells, it’s damage that cannot be undone.

While all human tissue is subject to damage by AGE’s, the lining of blood vessels is especially sensitive, as well as certain nerve cells that can quickly accumulate damage—especially in blood capillaries of the kidneys and eyes, brain and nerve cells, collagen, and your DNA. This is pretty serious and destructive stuff.

AGE’s are responsible for wrinkly, sagging skin, damage to the pancreas that causes diabetes, and damage to blood vessels, which leads to the plaque buildup that causes heart disease.

Besides the irritation and inflammation they create in blood vessels, they damage collagen in blood vessel walls, which leads to high blood pressure. Glycation also weakens the blood vessel walls, can cause aneurisms and deadly hemorrhagic strokes.

AGE’s also help form the sticky amyloid proteins and neurofibril tangles that take over the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, causing severe memory loss and dementia.

They can easily damage the nerves, causing peripheral neuropathy and deafness, as well as attacking the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, which in turn can lead to blindness, as well as creating dangerous by-products that can become cancer.

The wide variety of diseases is the result of glycation interfering with molecular and cellular function in the body and its release of highly oxidizing byproducts.

As you can see, AGE’s are highly destructive. Where do they come from?

Advanced Glycation End products can come from two primary sources:

  • From our diet (Exogenous AGE’s)
  • Internally produced in the body (Endogenous AGE’s)

Any food that is browned or roasted such as brown bread, browned or grilled meat, bacon, crispy brown cookies, chips, crackers, etc. contains AGE’s. They form whenever food browns with heat as in roasting, frying or grilling. Cooking food at high temperatures without water or liquids (as in frying) causes the sugars in the food to bind with the proteins or fats to form AGE’s.

Any food that is high in fat, protein or sugar is likely to cause AGE’s when cooked. Using water when cooking as in steaming, poaching or boiling helps to prevent the sugars from attaching to the proteins and fats and helps to prevent AGE’s. Cooking at a lower temperature also helps to minimize AGE’s.

You know that crispy skin on the roasted Thanksgiving turkey? That’s full of AGE’s. So are French fries, bacon, chips, and just about anything that is baked or fried to a golden brown. Even that juicy steak, dark roasted coffee in your espresso, and that delicious caramel on your dessert are full of AGE’s.

Processed, packaged foods often have added AGE’s to enhance their flavor and make the food look more appealing. Caramel coloring is a good example of this. The list of foods with added AGE’s also includes donuts, cakes, crackers, chips, dark colored soda, and even dark beer.

Endogenous (or internally formed) AGE’s occur in the body from the sugar and carbohydrates in the food you eat. Excessive sugar in the body (in the form of glucose) binds to proteins causes glycation. People with chronically elevated blood sugar have the most damage from AGE’s, such as those with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

As nutrition expert Johnny Bowden says, “It’s like putting sugar in your gas tank, it totally gums up the works.”

Certain types of sugars such as fructose, are much more likely (as much as 10x more likely) to glycate. If you look at the huge amount of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, or the large numbers of people eating sugary, processed foods and drinks, is it any wonder why there are such high rates of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other inflammatory diseases?

AGE’s can be measured by the same test given to diabetics to monitor long-term blood sugar control. This relatively new blood test is known as the Hemoglobin A1c test.

For optimal aging, your A1C levels (whether diabetic or not) should be less than 5%, which would mean keeping an average blood sugar level of about 90 mg/dl. While that seems fairly low by some conventional medical standards, this percentage is easily attainable if you eat to keep blood sugar stable.

Minimize the effects of AGE’s

  • Keep blood sugar low with a low carb/low sugar diet. Especially avoid the sugar that comes from fructose, as in high fructose corn syrup and fruit juices.
  • Avoid grains—especially wheat and corn, they tend to raise blood sugar. And grains are often baked or fried to become crispy and brown which makes them even higher in AGE’s. Yes, that includes that wood fire roasted pizza, too.
  • Cook meats at lower temperatures – Higher temperatures produce far more AGE’s than slower cooking over low heat. Cook meat in broth if possible. For example, rare and medium-rare meats will have fewer AGE’s than fully cooked meats, like barbeque, bacon, or well-done steak.
  • Eat vegetables and fruits raw, boiled, stewed, slow-cooked, or steamed – boiling and steaming introduce water to the cooking process, which stops glycation.
  • Avoid processed foods. Not only are they higher in sugar content, they often have caramel coloring and other additives high in AGE’s to improve color and appearance.
  • Avoid browned, roasted, grilled, carmelized, or fried foods. If it’s golden brown or brown, it most likely contains AGE’s.
  • Avoid dark colored sodas, dark beer, and anything with caramel coloring in it.

Combat AGE’s With These Foods

All low-glycemic foods

Kale, collard greens, or spinach



Sweet potatoes

Red, yellow or green peppers

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts






Red or black grapes


Green tea, black tea, and rooibos tea

Cinnamon, Cloves and Turmeric

Supplements that Battle AGE’s

  • L-carnosine – An amino acid found in protein. L-carnosine helps prevent glycation by generating an enzyme that is able to counterattack AGE’s that have already been formed. This supplement is said to decrease the risk of attracting neurodegenerative disorder and inflammatory diseases by removing the unsaturated aldehydes (sugars). Since meat contains this amino acid, eating meat is less likely to produce as many dangerous AGE’s in the body.
  • Benfotiamine – A fat-soluble synthetic form of vitamin B-1. This substance has been studied to stop AGE’s from being formed. It blocks the biochemical processes that can cause vascular, nerve, kidney and retinal damage that are connected AGE’s and high blood sugar levels. Benfotiamine is a supplement and not naturally found in foods.
  • Pyridoxamine – A unique form of vitamin B6, called Vitamin B6 is involved in hundreds of beneficial enzymatic reactions in the body. While the benefits of conventional vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are well documented, this unique form of vitamin B6 called pyridoxamine is thought to interfere specifically with the toxic glycation reactions in the body.
  • Antioxidants – Foods and supplements high in antioxidants will help to combat the damage that AGE’s do in the body. Supplements include alpha lipoic acid, astaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, selenium, quercetin, and flavonoids.

While it may be virtually impossible to avoid the glycated end products, you can minimize them and the damage they do with your diet. And that, in itself will go a long way towards keeping you young.

Till next time,

Stay healthy, lean and young!




Get the latest Gluten Free, Superfoods Recipe book HERE–The Fat Burning Kitchen Superfoods Recipes.

Catherine (Cat) Ebeling RN BSN, is a back to basics diet and nutrition specialist. In addition to her advanced degree in nursing from a major medical school, she has spent the last 30 years intensely studying diet, health and nutrition.  Cat also has a book titled “The Fat Burning Kitchen, Your 24 Hour Diet Transformation” that has sold over 60,000 copies worldwide, and has helped thousands of people transform their lives, lose weight and improve their health.

Her mission is to help others prevent disease and live their best life ever.

                                Nutrition made Easy. Simple.Smart.Nutrition.