Natural MD Radio: Going with the Grain with Dr. Alan Christianson


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We’ve all heard about low carb diets, but are they actually good for you? Grains and carbohydrates have been on plenty of “bad food” lists for some time now, and it’s time to change the conversation around them. Carbohydrates can actually be beneficial to us, giving us energy and brain power. But of course it’s all about balance and knowing which carbs are best and when to eat them.

Joining me today is naturopathic medical doctor Dr. Alan Christianson. Alan wrote New York Times Bestseller The Adrenal Reset Diet, and frequently appears on national TV shows like Dr. Oz and The Doctors. Listen in as we talk about what exactly carbohydrates are, why we need them, and more.

“I’ve seen so many people that when they’ve gone low carb, their sugar actually gets higher and they have higher levels of cortisol because the body is overcompensating.” – Dr. Alan Christianson

Show Notes:

  • Alan’s opinion of low carb diets
  • What is a carbohydrate
  • The different definitions of sugar
  • Why the quality of the source is important
  • Why we need glucose from carbohydrates
  • What carb sources he recommends

“Grains have gotten a bad rap, but the data is strong that they are health promoting.” – Dr. Alan Christianson

  • The importance of diversity in the microbiome
  • The pitfalls of an elimination diet
  • When Alan recommends a lower carb diet
  • What are his recommendations for breakfast

Links Mentioned:

“If someone’s in great shape and they’re eating whole, simple, unprocessed foods and they’re thriving and their doctor says their chemistries are good, don’t change a thing.” – Dr. Alan Christianson

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Tonya

Yes! This was so refreshing to hear.

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Nili

I loved this episode! So much great info. Thanks!

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Vicki

I had eliminated grains and most carbs for many months. Now I can feel my cortisol is elevated. My sleep is disturbed and I wake up at 4 am every night. My fasting glucose which has always been in normal range, around 89, is now elevated to around 110. I have added more healthy carbs and I can still feel my cortisol elevated. Thanks for your info. I would like to have a consultation.

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Debra

hi Dr. Romm, Do you think a woman should adjust her carb intake in pregnancy to account for the normal increase insulin resistance?

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    aviva

    Pregnant women, contrary to popular belief about "eating for two" actually don't need any additional calories until the last trimester, and even then it's only about 200 (double that for twins) extra calories per day. The increased insulin resistance in pregnancy allows baby to get more sugar from mom, but doesn't require increasing calories - or carbs. But if you're on a very low carb diet, then yes, getting a portion of healthy (Slow burning) carbs a few times each day is important.

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Sarah Josey

Hello! I found this podcast super interesting and I would love to know Dr. Christianson's thoughts about net carbs when it comes to his recommendations for carb servings during the day. Especially given his knowledge of the different types of starches and fibers, I though he'd be uniquely qualified to talk about this confusing topic. When thinking about the amount of grams of carbs someone may want to eat in a day, should they be looking at the net carbs or the total carb grams? Thank you!

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    Megan Liebmann

    Hi Sarah, I can't speak to Dr. Christianson's answer, but you may find what you are looking for in his book! I actually highly recommend it. :) So glad that you enjoyed the podcast! Megan- Aviva Romm’s Executive Assistant and Online Nutrition Expert

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Monica

Hi Aviva! I've been following your work for awhile and am trying my best to piece together the puzzle of my own optimal health. I've suffered with low libido since my mid twenties and now post two babies (great pregnancies, deliveries and extended breastfeeding), I have feelings of inflammation, dehydration and fatigue. I just had my cortisol levels checked and found that they are pretty low in the am (just shy of 4) but then stable in "normal" range midday and somewhat at night. Wondering if supporting the adrenals could help regulate libido and other symptoms like diabetes etc. I eat a gluten limited (almost none) diet that is modified Paleo. I don't avoid carbs and love beans and potatoes. Just wondering if you have any thoughts for me?? Can't wait for your book!

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    Megan Liebmann

    Hi Monica, This is Megan from Aviva's team. Thank you so much for your comment and sharing what you are going through. If you do a search for libido on Aviva's website you will find a few articles discussing some of the underlying causes of low libido. Warmly, Megan- Aviva Romm’s Executive Assistant and Online Nutrition Expert

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whole cell protein

Thanks for sharing the audio. I like grains.

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Tylor Keller

Thanks for sharing.

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