Growing a Healthy Baby -
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Growing a Healthy Baby - 2/13/11 - Chris Kresser -

Nutrition for Conception, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

-(acupuncture/herbal - investigative medicine with modern day lab testing

-avoiding just suppressing symptoms - restore proper function

my questions:  fermented foods for mothers

-women can give birth even experiencing high levels of stress, and there are many approaches to food and all situations are different

-goal is to share what anthropological studies and clinical wisdom suggest is the optimal diet for pregnancy/gestation

-omnivore, vegetarian, vegan

-humans have been reproducing healthy babies for 2.5 million years, just recently have we had problems even extending beyond

-WAP:  health of teeth reflects overall health

-hunter gatherer cattle hearders were healthiest, as compared to agrarian-progressed parts of the tribe

-wide pallett supports muscles of the face

-sacred foods:  fed to mothers/fathers to be long before they are planning to be pregnant

      -yolks, raw dairy, bone marrow, organ meats, fish oil

-great variety of traditional diets:  plant/animal, cooked/raw, grains/not, ...

      -all traditional diets shared common features

            -no refined or processed foods:  flour, seed oils, trans fats, sugar, chemicals

            -all had some kind of animal foods - nutrients are much more plenty and are more easily assimilable

-fruits and veg are not often best sources of micronutrients - beef liver has more of every major nutrient than blueberries or kale

-developmental origin series:  health of womb determines lifelong risk of chronic illness

      -9 month pregnancy is the most consequential period of our lives

      -affects metabolism, immune system and temperament

-conditions inside of womb are key factors in predisposition to kidney failure, heart disease...,

-first few days after birth are crucial to determining gut flora - digestive ability and risk for auto-immune disease

      -gut flora influences immunity, weight, brain condition - universal

-best to meet nutrient needs through food - isolated synthetic nutrients don't have the same effect on our bodies(need cofactors and enzymes that aren't present in supplements)

-debunking fat myths:

      -fat doesn't make you fat - many traditional diets had between 70 and 90% fat by calorie -

      -refined carbohydrates and seed oils are really to blame

-saturated fats do not cause heart disease:

      -premise 1:  saturated fat increases cholesterol

      -premise 2:  increased cholesterol levels doesnt increase risk of heart disease

      -both untrue:  french have lowest heart disease rates but highest cholesterol levels, and aborigines have lowest cholesterol and among highest risk of heart disease.

      -studies show that lowering cholesterol has NO EFFECT on decreasing risk of heart disease

-evolution has optimized our bodies for a high-fat diet

-agricutlure has only been around for 350 generations - processed foods have been around for only a couple of generations

      -MODERN degenerative disease

-lowfat products decrease potential for conception by significant amount

-eating fruits and vegetables don't alone reduce risk of heart disease, they require FAT to be present - nutrients are fat soluble and can obly be absorbed in the presence of fat


Best Fats:  long chain SFA:  from milk and meat of ruminant animals - core structural fats in human body - primary storage form of energy for humans, more easily burned and are a cleaner energy source than glucose - no known toxicity even at extremely high doses unless you are not getting some other nutrient

Good Fats:  medium chain SFA:  coconut milk, breast milk - metabolized differently and don't require bile acids for emulsification to become available - pass right through the upper part of small intestine so don't require lots of energy for absorprtion - high in lauric acid which is predominantly found in mothers milk but is antiviral, antibacterial,

monunsaturated:  lard, beef tallow, olives, macadamia, peanuts - core structural fat, non toxic at high doses, high source of fuel

natural trans fats:  CLA, similar to monunsaturated(meat of ruminant animals) - has anticancer properties even at low levels(less than 10 calories)

Good in Moderation:  trans fats - margarine and other hydrogenated oils - process changes tructure of fatty acid and it becomes foreign to the human body and therefore dangerous


polyunsatureated - o3, o6, - help prevent oxidative damage - ratio should be equal 3;6 and this was true of all traditional diets

      -americans are eating 15 times the amount of o6

      -LA: found in all seed oils, nuts and poultry(especially with skin on it) - essential fatty acid so we need to get it from the food we eat

            -because we don't need that much LA(4grams/day - 2% of calories)

      o3:  ALA from flax and walnut, epa, dha from cold water fish and some in meat/fat of ruminant animals

      -best to reduce o6 intake instead of eating a lot of o3 because there can be toxicity if too much is eaten to maintain the ratio




fat pyramid

:base, eggs, meat, cheese, butter(LCSFA and MUFA(bacon, avo, olives



carbs: fiber, glucose, fructose - not all carbs are created alike

      -glucose and fructose are monosaccarides:  found in fruits and vegetables and dense sweeteners

      -glucose is safe in moderation:  form of energy our body is designed to run on, quickly burned up by body as it enters the bloodstream - tubers, starchy vegetables, fruits

      -body can make glucose our of protein through gluconeogenesis

      -fructose is found in small amounts in fruit, and large amounts in processed foods

            -handled differnetly in the body - treated as a poison, transferred to the liver and is turned into glucose

            -liver can handle a couple of pieces of fruit each day but overload can cause metabolic problems downstream

      -people get hungier when they eat fructose - true cause of modern disease epidemic

-agave is 90% fructose - even small amounts

-honey is 55% fructose but is a special case because there are other essential nutrients there and benefit may outway risk - body can handle small amounts

-fruit juice:  from evolutionary perspective humans never had enough fruit to make juice

      -juice has sugar, but no fiber to get us full

-30-40% of people have fructose-malabsorption and it becomes food for pathogenic small intestine bacterial overgrowth(SIBO), leads to all kinds of digestive tract issues

-fiber:  plant matter than can't be digested by human system - soluble and insoluble

      -bacteria in our guts can digest convert fiber to butyrate, proprionate and acetate(SCFA) which is food for enterocytes of our colon

      -grain fiber is insoluble(because it doesnt' get fermented, it can be bad for wall of gut)

            -studies show that too much fiber leads to other kinds of intestinal issues - scrubbing it with a wire brush

carb pyramid:  non starchy carbs(lots), starchy tubers(some), fruit(mdoeration)

      -creal grains:  soak, sprout or ferment -

      -starch is a chain of glucose(root vegetables and tubers)

-amylase in our saliva helps us break down starch


      -urea synthesis during frequency is reduced in gestating mothers, so there should be less craving for protein during pregnancy

      -if body needs more, you will crave more - follow your natural cravings

      -pregnancy protein requiremnt is 10% - small amount of meat or fish

            -more likely that women are getting NOT ENOUGH FAT, or TOO MANY CARBOHYDRATES

-mother milk is 7% protein, 55% fat, and the rest is carbs

-soak grains: at least 18 hours, in water with whey or kefir, then rinse them, then cook them(for a short time)

      -seeds are hibernating and therefore are protecting themselves - take them out of hibernation before eating

-gut is a barrier:  gluten loosens tight junctions of GI tract and allow chunks to enter blood stream - produces zonulin

-buckwheat is least volatile  grain

      -white rice is recommended too - white rice has had bran removed, so you can easily absorb and digest

-glycemic index:  okinawans are oldest survigin people and eat mostly fish and rice


milk:  majority of disease comes from pasteurized milk, maybe because they are held to higher health standards

      -beniefical bacteria are still present in the milk - the milk keeps pathogens at bay because of that biotic quality

      -better in 3 ways:  lactose/lactase, enzyme to digest it is there - raw milk cows graze on grass and so are healthier

-weight gain during pregnancy only happens when eating seed oils, too many carbs - disrupts metabolism and sets stage for weight gain


-mothers become insulin resistant when they are pregnant so that there is enough glucose left over in the bloodstream for the baby

Fat Soluble Vitamins:  A,D, K, E - mineral are bricks andf at-soluble vitamins are mortar - key to absorption

      -reason LEAN PROTEIN is a bad idea - depletes liver's stores of fat-soluble vitamins

-A:  important to reproduction, promotes full-term pregancy and prevents long labor, prevents deafness and internal organ idsplacement

      -connection between sense organs and brain - lines lungs to protect against pollutants and infectious diseases

      -2600IU -  not enough - greenland inuits were having 35000IU of vitamin A per day

      -many studies prove that vitamin a up to 50000IU per day can decrease risk of birth defects

      -will not be toxic even in huge amounts if there are adequate amounts of vit d or k2

      -beta carotene is NOT vitamin A - its a precursor or inactive version of vitamin a(retinol) - only 3% of beta carotene gets converted to retinol if you are one of the 3040% of people who can actual make that conversion internally

      -foundin significant amoutns in liver and dairy

D:  protects against vitamin A toxicity

      -third trimester where there is rapid growth of fetal skeleton - super impornt for calcification

      -mothers very easily become D deficient when pregnant because they are usually almost there before they conceive

      -2-4000 IU each day - test to figure out levels, and figure out what will keep you at 4000 per nanoliter(?)

      -more is not always better

      -cod liver oil(2 tbsp), herring or salmon(8-12 oz), butter(7.7), mushrooms(16 lbs)

      -body converts 7-dehydro-cholesterol to vitamin d in the presence of sunlight

      -some people can't convert sunlight to D as well as others, also dependent on full exposure sun(10am-2pm)on pale skin for 30 minutes(10-20,000IU of D)

      -sun exposure prevents melanoma and decreases risk of dying from skin cancer by 20%

K2:  protects against vitamin A and D toxicity

      -two protein dependent on K - also helps prevent excess calcification in soft tissue

      -wide face gives space for wisdom teeth, which get crowded out with a nutritionally defiicent diet

      -activator x:

      -US - poor cranial development is common and considered normal

      -Binder's Syndrome: middle third of face is underdeveloped, narrow dental arches, small sinuses - caused by K2 deficiency

            -most people suffer from some level of Binders because of deficiency

      -EAT CHEESE:  pastured dairy, and goose liver contain high levels

            -grain fed dairy does not contain as much K2!!!

            -apstured animals eat K1 in grass and convert it to K2 themselves - easier to eat them

      -best sources k1:  kale(1062 mcg/cup), spinach, collard, beet greens

      -best sources k2:  goose liver, hard cheese, soft cheese, egg yolk(pastured), egg yolk(conventional)

      -can also supplement 1-2 grams per day:  use MK4 form because it is associated with benefits

-DHA:  found exclusively in marine foods, most important of fatty acids

      -preferentially incoroporated into brain in infancy and is concentrated in grey matter and retinas in theeyes - helps form neurons and protects brain against oxidative damage

      -the more DHA kids get, the better their visual acuity

      -CLO raised mental processing at 4 years of age

-vegan and vegetarian diets tend to be defficient in B and K vitamins

      -some researchers think that it is essential - must get it through diet

      -must get DHA from algae or fish that eat algae, it is found in grass-fed ruminant animals, but not in high enough amounts

      -mercury toxicity in fish is only a problem if there is not enough selenium - selenium binds to mercury and makes it so that is not bioavailable to humans - high enough selenium prevents mercury toxicity

            -selenium:  ocean fish - most ocean fish have more selenium than mercury - exceptions are pilot whale meat, tarpin, marlin, swordfish and some sharks(minimize consumption, but not one-time killer)

      -dioxins and PCBs:  biproducts of plastic production - cause cancer in animals and humans

            -levels are higher in vegetables than in fish

      -the benefits of eating fish outweigh any negative outcome by 3500x

      -parasites may be present in raw fish,

-DHA and EPA are good for fertility, infertile men have lower concentrations of both in their sperm

      -food sources:  fish eggs(6462mg/6oz), mackerel(2347), salmon(1111)

      -most important to reduce o6, eat 3 6oz servings of fatty fish per week(approximately 1lb per week)

      -grass fed meet does contain DHA

-vegans should supplement with blue-green algae (brand is DHA Purity)

-folate:  required for all new cells - fetus is in constant cell division, conributes to healthy neural tube development and devlopent of face and heart

      -vegans and vegetarians need extra folate during pregnancy - folic acid is NOT the same as folate - can be converted, but conversion is limited in humans and folic acid does not cross the placenta like natural folate does

            -majority of MV on market include folic acid instead of folate because it is cheaper - meet requirement through food

      -best sources are liver, legumes, dark leafy greens

      -chicken liver(3.4 oz per 600mcg), lentils(1.7 cups), legumes(2-3 cups), dark, leafy greens(3-6 cups)

-choline:  promotes healthy neural tube development because it activates similarly to folate

      -creates formation between synapses that allow differentiation of thoughts and brian development

      -rats fed 3x the amount of choline give birth to offspring with better than normal neurological systems

      -best sources:  egg yolks(3.5 for 450mcg), beef liver(3.8 oz), wheat germ(10.6 oz), curciferous vegetbales(2.2lbs)

            -also found in butter, potatoes, cauliflower and lentils

-biotin:  vitamin h - recently discovered that deficiency is common during pregnancy - promotes healthy formation of limbs and pallette - animal studies

      -egg whites contain avodin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption - cooking only partially  deactivates

      -no RDA for biotin but adequate intake levels have been determined

      -2 yeg yolks(50 mcg),, 3 oz beef liver(27), whole whate bread(6), one avocado(6) - hard to find it with whole foods alone so some people need to supplement

-glycine - improtant for collagen production and forming a healhty gut barrier

      -primarily found in bone broths

-4 food toxins:

      -sugar/HFCS - feeds cancer cells, promotes weight gain, premature aging, denatures nervous system, creates hormone imbalances and infertility or post-partum depression

            -feeds pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the gut

-soy:  in almost every form of packaged or processed food - most people don't know how much soy they consume -

      -small amoutns of fermented soy may be beneficial:  nato, tempeh, miso, nato

            -soy milk, soy oil, soy flour are TOXIC - tripsin inhibotirs that affect protein digestion and pancreatic function

            -incrases requirement for vitamin D which most people are already deficient in

            -high in phytic acid which decreases

      -stimulates the growth of estrogen dependent tumors

      -2 cups of soy milk a day is the hormonal equivalent to birth control

            -soy protein isolate in kids is not GRAS(generally recognized as safe) - soy formula is like giving a baby 4 birth control pills every day!!!

-industrial seed oils:  made from corn, soy, cottonseed, safflower and canola - in all processed and refined foods

      -high amounts of o6, which promotes inflammation, infertility and basically every modern disease that we know of

omnivore food plan:

-supplements are folate and fermented cod liver oil -

      -natural fermentation(one company - green pastures)

-veg supplements:  DHA through marine algae, D3, A, Folate

-vegan:  nuts are high in o6, so go for macadmia and hazelnut because they have less o6

      -supllements:  DHA, D3, A, K2, Folate, Biotin, Cholate