Are you planning to throw a couple of steaks on the grill?
Don’t feel guilty if you are. Meat is one of the best sources of your most important nutrients.
Does your doctor try and make you feel bad about eating a big, juicy steak?
The diet advice that modern medicine prescribes is to replace meat with unnatural grains, corn and soy. But your body doesn’t recognize them as food because they don’t have the nutrients you need. And then doctors still try to tell you that you don’t need a nutritional supplement…
If your doctor tells you that, ask them how you’re supposed to solve these three nutrient issues:
How are you supposed to get your chromium? How are you supposed to get any vitamin K? How can you ever get enough CoQ10?
They’re the three biggest reasons to think about supplementing your diet, since the Western diet you’re told to eat is missing them.
Yet respectable sources still say that you don’t need a nutritional supplement. But no one questions them as to how you are supposed to get those three nutrients that are the most critical to keeping your blood sugar under control and avoiding diabetes and obesity.
We more than doubled the percentage of carbohydrates that we consume compared to the way our ancestors ate. Plus, the character of the carbohydrate has changed to a much higher glycemic index. And you are told to avoid animal protein, even though it helps normalize your blood sugar.
That’s a huge problem that overcomes almost anything you can do about it. You can motivate yourself ’til the cows come home, but adhering to the Western diet is still going to produce the modern disease called diabetes.
Because all those carbohydrates are causing you to overproduce insulin. And insulin, when you’re missing those three important nutrients, tells your body to convert more of the calories consumed to stored body fat. This is the direct path to obesity and diabetes.
So what to do? It’s simple: Give your body back the three nutrients you’ve been deprived of so you can process blood sugar, keep your insulin in balance, and avoid storing fat.
The first nutrient you’ve been deprived of is chromium.
We’re not getting chromium from the soil anymore, since our food animals don’t eat their native diet of grass, which is where they get chromium.
Industry has mined it and used it up and depleted it, so the chromium’s not in the soil, and it’s not in commercial fertilizer…which means the chromium level of our produce has dramatically dropped. Plus, the vegetables the giant industrial mega-farms grow are packed so many into such a small space, and grown so fast and so often, that they never have time to develop their mineral content.
The vegetables you are presented with in the grocery store are mostly water and pith, with few if any of the minerals you need to live, including chromium.
It’s a crisis, because chromium is a co-factor for insulin. Insulin uses it to transport sugar out of your blood and into your cells where it’s burned as energy. Without chromium, you have a lot of excess blood sugar buildup, which causes a lot of excess insulin secretion.
You probably know that when you make too much insulin, it leads to diabetes. But even mild insulin dysfunction will make you have low energy levels, produce more fat, make you crave sweet foods, and throw your body’s cholesterol levels completely out of whack.(1)
You can get chromium from grass-fed beef, ripe organic tomatoes and a source that may surprise you: red wine. Grilled steak, tomatoes and a glass of wine sounds like a tasty summer meal to me.
But you’ll still have to supplement. Because you need 400 mcg a day for optimal health, and even that delicious meal will only give you around 50 mcg. That’s why I use a 400 mcg chromium polynicotinate supplement with my patients once a day with food.
The second nutrient you’re missing is vitamin K.
Most doctors overlook the critical role vitamin K plays in your body. But if you want to keep your blood sugar under control, you need this vitamin. As part of the Framingham Heart Study, researchers found that people with the highest levels of vitamin K had better insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar than people with the lowest vitamin K.(2)
It’s most common in dark, leafy greens. But you can also get vitamin K from pumpkin seeds and traditional Japanese foods like natto. Other sources – and one reason why Americans don’t get enough vitamin K – are two foods you’re told not to eat anymore: beef and raw eggs.
So if you’re going to throw some meat on the grill today, I recommend grass-fed meat. Commercially raised animals are fed an unnatural and toxic diet of grains and hormones. Toxins then collect in the fat instead of nutrients like vitamin K.
A grass-fed strip steak will give you 10% of your daily vitamin K. To supplement the rest, get at least 45 and up to 90 mcg a day. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, so take it with your steak meal – the healthy fats improve absorption.
The third critical nutrient is one that Americans are universally deficient in: CoQ10.
I don’t know how you could get enough CoQ10 without going through a lot of trouble that people aren’t willing to go through unless you take a supplement.
You’d have to get wild animals and eat their internal organs fresh.
That’s one of the reasons why almost no one gets enough CoQ10. We don’t eat any organ meat at all anymore.
And just like it does in wild animals, CoQ10 concentrates in your organs, too. The ones that need energy the most like your heart, liver and pancreas. Your pancreas especially benefits from CoQ10 in two important ways.
The first is that the islet cells in your pancreas, which make insulin, use CoQ10 as the fuel they need for energy. Without CoQ10, the islet cells get tired, and can’t make insulin as efficiently.
The second benefit comes from CoQ10’s unique dual role. At the same time it powers up your islet cells, it protects them.
You see, the Western diet, with all its starches, grains and sugars, can cause you to produce a lot of insulin. When that happens, the energy-making centers of your islet cells can become dysfunctional. This can then cause their DNA to be damaged.
CoQ10 is an incredibly powerful antioxidant that stops DNA damage, and helps keep the mitochondria of your islet cells from becoming dysfunctional.(3)
The best source of CoQ10 is closest thing you’re going to get to a wild animal – grass-fed meat. It’s nature’s antidote to the Western diet. I was lucky to grow up eating grass-fed beef, and I still do today. Grass-fed beef contains more CoQ10 than any other meat on the planet.
You can take a CoQ10 supplement, but many of the powder and tablet forms are worthless. They won’t get absorbed. Absorbability is a crucial point when you’re looking for a CoQ10 supplement.
That’s why I recommend the ubiquinol form of CoQ10. It’s the world’s most potent and absorbable form of CoQ10 because it’s already in the form your body uses. Take 50 mg of ubiquinol each day.
1 Tsai, Chung-Jyi, Leitzmann, Michael F., Willett, Walter C., et al, "Macronutrients and Insulin Resistance in Cholesterol Gallstone Disease," Am. J. of Gastroenterology, Nov 2008;103:2932-2939
2 Yoshida, Makiko, Booth, Sarah, Meigs, James, et al, "Phylloquinone intake, insulin sensitivity, and glycemic status in men and women." Am. J. of Clinical Nutr, July 2008;88(1):210-215
3 Lamson, D.W., Plaza, S.M.. "Mitochondrial factors in the pathogenesis of diabetes: a hypothesis for treatment," Altern. Med. Rev. Apr. 2002;7(2):94-111
Dr. Al Sears is fast becoming the nation's leading authority on longevity and heart health. His cutting edge breakthroughs and commanding knowledge of alternative medicine have been transforming the lives of his patients for over 15 years.
Dr. Sears currently owns and operates a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic in Wellington, Florida with over 15,000 patients. Over the course of his career, he has developed his own approach to heart health, longevity and anti-aging medicine - combining the best of modern medical science with natural holistic techniques and treatments.