LeBron James Goes Paleo: Is it the Right Choice?

LeBron James

NBA Star LeBron James has decided to radically change his diet by eliminating carbs. Image Credit: Associated Press

Evidently the basketball world is all-abuzz about LeBron James and his decision to radically change his diet, completely eliminating carbs. An article in the Wall Street Journal reports that LeBron has lost weight by going on a summer long carbohydrate-free cleanse, and his new eating regime has also upped his performance as an athlete.

Most athletes watch what they eat during the season but LeBron has focused on improving his diet in the off-season as well. Evidently, many other athletes are following suit and have become nuts about nutrition. This is great news as these athletes are role models for young people. Like LeBron, more and more athletes are adapting a Paleo diet.

Heavy on animal proteins like meat, chicken, and fish, but without the carbohydrates, Paleo dieters naturally practice food combining. They eat their animal proteins with non-starchy vegetables like green beans, asparagus, zucchini, and kale. However, eliminating carbs completely from the diet has its side effects. The thyroid and adrenal both suffer, thus reducing energy and very importantly the gut bacteria need slow released carbs and grain-like seeds, including quinoa and millet, or they will literally starve to death. They also thrive on the fiber to produce important fatty acids like butyrate, which they use to feed themselves.

Personally I really love to see people changing over to a sugar-free Paleo diet. In fact, Body Ecology has been Paleo for over 25 years. A sugar-free diet will conquer a candida infection and will also improve blood sugar levels, since many of us are insulin resistance today. They’ll lose bloating and fat and certainly look less toxic. However, you’ll notice that many people who try to do Paleo become very tired and depressed.

Most of us will be healthier and happier when we eat certain carbs, especially for our evening meal. Carbs eaten around 6 – 7pm will help produce more serotonin, which converts to melatonin, an important hormone for sleep. The key is to eat the right kind of carbs. And most importantly, eat fermented vegetables and drink probiotic liquids as you’re eating the carbs.

The bacteria in the fermented foods and drinks help digest the sugar in the carbs. In stage 1 of the Body Ecology Diet, millet, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat are safe to eat and do not feed yeast. In stage 2 whole-oat groats and brown basmati rice and GABA rice can be added. You’ll get the most benefits when these grains and seeds are cooked into a porridge. Cooking them for a long time into a porridge and adding alkaline forming, non-starchy vegetables at the last 30 minutes of cooking, is the secret to making these grains very digestible. The vegetables add balance to the more acid-forming grains.

Whatever we choose to eat it’s very important to consider what is happening in your gut, and especially to the bacteria that live inside of you. We don’t just eat for ourselves we eat for them as well. There are gazillions of them and they each have their own set of genes. In fact, each tiny bacteria has many more genes than we do. Their genes control the expression of our own genes. Bottom line…happy bacteria mean happy genes and this is the secret to living a longer, healthier, and happier life.

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