Body biotyping and Metabolic typing are ways to find your individualised nutritional needs. They recognise patterns in physical, emotional, physiological and psychological characteristics to produce foods plans that are specifically tailored to the individual. These are based on what I call Evolution Nutrition, by this I mean we should observe nutritional habits that our bodies have literally been designed to over millions of years. A great question to ask yourselves with anything to do with health is, what have our bodies been doing for the longest time? Because it is that which we will be most adapted to. Let’s look at a few examples.
What fats are better for you, vegetable seed oils or saturated fats found in animal meats? Well, go back a few thousands years, and think about how you would make an oil out of vegetables seeds? Basically you couldn’t really, you just wouldn’t have the tools to squeeze an oil out of them in the quantities we use today. Now what about animal / meat products? Of course we would have been eating meat, and in fact have been eating meat for millions of years, a Paleolithic diet, so we are far more adapted to eating and processing the saturated fats in meat then any other oil.
My next example is similar, are we more adapted to eating meats or grains such as wheat? The answer is virtually the same, grains have only been produced in agricultural quantities in the last 10,000 years, a drop in the ocean compared to how long we have been eating meats. This is a possible answer to why so many people are wheat intolerant, our digestive systems just aren’t as well adapted to them.
These are examples of general patterns in our nutrition over our evolution. We can get more detailed than this and look at our genetics and family background. This is easiest explained by looking at extremes, let’s take for example the Eskimos’s. Their diet consists of nearly 100% animal meat and extremely high animal saturated fat. Most people know that the Eskimo’s have incredibly low rates of heart disease, yet it has been ingrained into us that these are the exact foods that should be clogging our arteries if we merely look at it!
An extreme in the other direction are certain African tribes where they are very nearly vegetarian and have the same fantastic health as many other indigenous cultures around the world (this is based upon research by a dentist called Weston Price). So would you make an Eskimo vegetarian or an African tribesman consume large amounts of meat? No of course not, it is all about the individual and how their own body responds to the food they eat. Everyone is an individual, we all look different on the outside and our metabolism is as different on the inside to. We each will respond better to different foods, different mixes of protein, carbohydrates and fats and will even do better with different sized meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of us will thrive on 3 meals per day, other better with 6 smaller meals.
How do you think your diet is performing for you? The simple way to find this out is how do you feel? If you are not as healthy as you want to be then you are probably doing something wrong. A very simple piece of advice I give to my patients is to try something different. So if you are tired, have re-current colds, infections and other illnesses and you eat vegetarian then I would say try not being vegetarian! If you are overweight and lethargic and eat meat at every meal then try cutting your meat intake down and go closer to being a vegetarian, simply experiment with your foods, trying something new. The other piece of simple advice is to stop eating anything that is man-made and refined (sugar, hydrogenated fats etc), if it wasn’t around 10,000 years ago then don’t eat it!
Body Biotyping observes that there are five basic body types that are determined by a dominant hormone gland in our body, they are the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, gonad or gonad/pituitary types. Let’s look at an example of a Body Biotype. The adrenals glands, which produce the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, produce a stocky, medium height, muscular, rugby-player type shape in the male. These people will crave meat and salt as they stimulate the adrenal gland hormones and act like a “food drug” to make the person feel better. So an adrenal type person should be careful to not over indulge in these foods but instead balance themselves with other beneficial foods. Within Biotying terms an adrenal type will perform better observing a food-combining diet, where protein and vegetables are eaten together and carbohydrates and vegetables are eaten together but not protein and carbohydrates on the same plate. Other give aways that an adrenal Biotype will gain weight around the abdomen as the fat cells in this area are sensitive to the cortisol and adrenalin hormones.
Pituitary types are tall and gain weight all over, thyroid types gain weight centrally on the thighs and buttocks and the gonad types gain weight on the rear and breasts in the women. Pituitary types crave milk and dairy, thyroid sweets, carbs and coffee and the gonad type rich spicy foods.
These individual differences reveal so much about us and answer questions that so many people are asking themselves, like why did my friend lose weight on the Atkins diet but I felt awful? Body Biotyping reveals that only two of the five types would do well on the Atkins, just as it explains why only three out of the five types could be a healthy vegetarian. What about that person you know that just eats whatever they want and never gains weight! They are a gonad/pituitary type, the newest Biotype to have evolved and therefore are most used to modern day foods.
If you are interested in finding out more about Body Biotyping and your individual nutritional needs then visit www.theperrymount.com/events to see a full presentation by Christian Bates on Body Biotyping.
Raw food diets are currently being used with good results by many celebrities, particularly for weight loss. However, will the results be long lasting in holding their weight down or for maintaining long term good health? Christian Bates Osteopath and Naturopath says that certainly for some this diet will be beneficial but for others in will not maintain their long term health. One of the core aspects of the raw food diet is no dairy and red meat and it also emphasis lean meats and protein from nuts, seeds and pulses. Unfortunately I have just seen too many unhealthy vegetarians to know that this diet is good for everyone in the long term . As it says, raw food certainly is beneficial as the enzymes in it are still active and I am a proponent of eating raw food but some people will just have to have red meat in their diet for their cell metabolism to function correctly. So how do you know if you should be eating red meat, lean meat, fish or raw food? Christian uses two techniques to assess the “individual” food requirements of his patients. Firstly he observes the Body Biotype of the patient, this is done by paying attention to their body shape but also by questioning them on their emotional characteristics and also by their diet habits, such as the type of foods they crave and where they gain weight when they over indulge. This separates us into 5 distinct Body Types that all have subtle differences in the way they eat, for example high protein eaters (who would do well on the Atkins diet), low protein eaters (who wouldn’t do well on the Atkins diet), down to those that could be vegetarian and remain healthy long term.
Christian also uses an online questionnaire called Metabolic Typing® developed over 30 years which gives fantastic results. This again finds the individual patterns amongst us all to find out which foods will fuel our cells correctly and provides a comprehensive list of foods that are to be eaten or avoided. To look at a concrete example of this we can look at the research of Dr Western A Price, a dentist who travelled the world looking at indigenous cultures who were privileged to have almost perfect health, devoid of any of the modern diseases we suffer from, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease or obesity. He found that each culture ate the foods local to them so they varied greatly depending on where they were. So for example the Eskimo’s ate literally just animal flesh and animal fat (which is saturated fat) and yet had fantastic health! The Aborigines ate a diet much more dominated by vegetation, although they did eat meat whenever it was available. They too had amazing, vibrant health. The Swiss had a diet dominated by raw milk and raw cheese and bread. So would you consider saying to an Eskimo “No you mustn't eat saturated fat it will raise your cholesterol and give you heart disease, you must be vegetarian!”, he would probably turn around to you and say “What’s heart disease?” or maybe “Oh yes I heard about an Eskimo that preferred eating vegetables, he didn’t last very long”. And neither would you say to an Aborigine, “you must eat much more saturated fat, just look at the Eskimo’s they hardly have any heart disease”. The point Christian is making here with these extreme examples is that we are all different and to some varied degree will do better on different food combinations. He also agrees that if someone has a really appalling diet, like most modern diets, full of carbs from cereals and pasta, then some broad sweeping dietary changes will improve health, like cut down on carbs, or reduce you milk intake. But these won’t be long lasting if the advice is off base according to the person Body Biotype or Metabolic Type.
When I have patients in that are obviously quite toxic from poor lifestyle and eating then I will often start them on a short cleanse that would consist of raw foods, however in the long term I will always cater the food plan for them on an individual basis, I do not just give out the same healthy eating plan to al patients as I believe that there is not one diet that is good for every one.
If we are getting really picky then those with digestive disorders will also not do well on raw food as they will not be able to digest it as easily as cooked foods. An easy example would be that of a raw carrot compared to a lightly steamed carrot that will also hold most of its beneficial nutrients even after the steaming but be digested in the stomach much easier.
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This weeks Okay USA magazine had a small article on Tom Cruise's weight loss plan pre filming for Mission Impossible 4. It explains that he is eating two tuna steaks per day and doing 1000 push-ups. Not really much detail but but it definitely reveals enough to tell me it will successful. In general terms two tuna steaks per day offers substantial protein and fat intake which is just great for weight loss, let's also assume because of this higher protein intake the carbohydrate in Tom's diet will naturally be less, again perfect for weight loss. Most research now shows it is carbohydrates that are to blame for weight gain and also high fat counts in the blood. And in fact protein and animal fat in the diet are less related to weight gain and even high cholesterol.
However it is the individual and how they respond to the food rather than the food itself, so some people health and metabolism will thrive on higher proteins and animal fats whilst others will prefer higher carbohydrates and lower protein and fats. This individualised approach to health and nutrition is the domain of Metabolic Typing and Body Biotyping, both approaches having ways to find out what "type" you are and therefore which foods and food groups your metabolism will prefer. From a Body Biotyping perspective Tom Cruise is a Gonad/Pituitary type (there are also pituitary, thyroid, adrenal and gonad), for more information on Body Biotyping click here and to sign up to our next Body Biotyping for Health and Weight Loss Workshop click here. Metabolic typing information can be found here and the online questionnaire can be invested in here.
So Tom Cruise is a Gonad/Pituitary (GP)Biotype, the newest in evolution of the Biotypes and is characterised by being smaller, strong and flexible. This Biotype doesn't really gain excessive weight so Tom wouldn't have much to lose and will find it very easy to shed the few pounds he wants to. In general GP types get away with eating a lot of foods that the other Biotypes don't, they are the ones that eat the naughty foods and don't really put on weight, the ones we are envious of "who get away with anything". However this doesn't mean that their health won't suffer if they do continuously eat poor food choices and because of their single minded addictive personalities they can over do a particular eating style and suffer health issues because of it. In particular foods they would do well to moderate are dairy and spicy foods.