Your Road to Wellness


This Causes Low Testosterone: Important For Men and Women

Posted by on Eating, General Health | 1 comment

Testosterone not only affects sexual function but also affects how we feel emotionally and physically.

Women also need testosterone even if they need less than men.

Testosterone levels may also have an effect on how long we live.


Research has shown that optimal blood levels of testosterone in older men is associated with reduced mortality (Yeap BB,, 2014).

The use of testosterone was however not affecting the build up of deposits in the arteries of older men with low to normal testosterone (Basaria S,, 2015).

According to these 2 studies, it would be beneficial if you can maintain optimal testosterone levels without using a testosterone replacement.

Low sexual desire in women has been associated with low blood levels of free testosterone, that’s the testosterone the body can use (Wahlin-Jacobsen S,, 2017).

How we act may also be affected by our testosterone levels.

Salivary testosterone, that the free testosterone the body can use, has been associated with extraversion (Smeets-Janssen MM,, 2015).

The food we eat can actually have quite an effect on our testosterone levels. You can either increase it or decrease it, depending on what you eat.

Most people are probably not aware of that, but the research has been available for many years, and it is very interesting. It is most likely not what you expected.

When seven normal men were eating a high carbohydrate diet for 10 days, their testosterone concentration was consistently higher than after ten days on a high protein diet (Anderson KE,, 1987).

It is also interesting that the stress hormone cortisol was consistently lower during the high carbohydrate diet than it was during the high protein diet.

It is important to get enough protein, but we don’t need that much. Less than 1 g per kg of body weight is enough for most people unless you exercise very hard and a lot, then your needs will increase a little bit, but not that much.


Smeets-Janssen, M. M., Roelofs, K., Van Pelt, J., Spinhoven, P., Zitman, F. G., Penninx, B. W., & Giltay, E. J. (2015). Salivary testosterone is consistently and positively associated with extraversion: results from the Netherlands study of depression and anxiety. Neuropsychobiology, 71(2), 76-84.

Wåhlin-Jacobsen, S., Kristensen, E., Pedersen, A. T., Laessøe, N. C., Cohen, A. S., Hougaard, D. M., … & Giraldi, A. (2017). Androgens and Psychosocial Factors Related to Sexual Dysfunctions in Premenopausal Women∗:∗ 2016 ISSM Female Sexual Dysfunction Prize. The journal of sexual medicine, 14(3), 366-379.

Anderson, K. E., Rosner, W., Khan, M. S., New, M. I., Pang, S., Wissel, P. S., & Kappas, A. (1987). Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters reciprocally the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man. Life sciences, 40(18), 1761-1768.

Basaria, S., Harman, S. M., Travison, T. G., Hodis, H., Tsitouras, P., Budoff, M., … & Coviello, A. D. (2015). Effects of testosterone administration for 3 years on subclinical atherosclerosis progression in older men with low or low-normal testosterone levels: a randomized clinical trial. Jama, 314(6), 570-581.

Yeap, B. B., Alfonso, H., Chubb, S. P., Handelsman, D. J., Hankey, G. J., Almeida, O. P., … & Flicker, L. (2013). In older men an optimal plasma testosterone is associated with reduced all-cause mortality and higher dihydrotestosterone with reduced ischemic heart disease mortality, while estradiol levels do not predict mortality. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 99(1), E9-E18.

Yeap, B. B., Alfonso, H., Chubb, S. P., Handelsman, D. J., Hankey, G. J., Almeida, O. P., … & Flicker, L. (2013). In older men an optimal plasma testosterone is associated with reduced all-cause mortality and higher dihydrotestosterone with reduced ischemic heart disease mortality, while estradiol levels do not predict mortality. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 99(1), E9-E18.

Can Certain Food Cause Stress?

Posted by on Eating, Stress | 0 comments

Some people eat when they get stressed and nervous to calm themselves down, but can certain food cause stress?

That’s what this research investigated (Gibson EL,, 1999).
Cortisol was measured in the saliva which means it was free cortisol, that’s the part of the hormone that will have an effect, since some are protein bound, and is not free to act on the tissue.

The cortisol was measured before and after a high protein (35% of total calories) meal and after a low protein(5% of total calories) meal in healthy participants.

The results showed a significant increase in cortisol after the high protein meal, but not after the low protein meal.

The increase in cortisol also correlated with poor psychological well-being.

Think of food as cell signaling compounds, they do a lot more than only provide energy.

A plant-based, vegan diet is low in protein, and this is one more reason why it makes good sense.

There has never been documented any benefits by eating more protein than we need, and research shows that we don’t need that much.


Gibson, E. L., Checkley, S., Papadopoulos, A., Poon, L., Daley, S., & Wardle, J. (1999). Increased salivary cortisol reliably induced by a protein-rich midday meal. Psychosomatic medicine61(2), 214-224.

Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Reduce stress with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program.

Can You Really Reduce Blood Pressure By Eating This?

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Is it possible to reduce your blood pressure by eating chocolate?


That’s something most people enjoy. It is sweet. However, sweets are usually not associated with improved health.

In regard with that, here is a summary of the research.

The participants had type 2 diabetes. Regardless, they were divided into 2 groups and instructed to eat 25 grams of chocolate daily for 8 weeks (Rostami A,, 2015)

One group were given 25 grams of dark chocolate to eat per day. On the other hand, the other group was given the same amount of white chocolate.

The chocolate provided 143 kcal daily. But, the dark chocolate also included 83% cocoa solids, providing 450 mg of flavonoids per day.

For the results, the participants were checked for blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c, a marker of long-term glucose control. They are also checked for cardiovascular risk factors.

At the end of 8 weeks, both the diastolic and systolic blood pressure were significantly decreased in the dark chocolate group. However, those in the white chocolate group have no change.

In addition, the chocolate did not worsen either the glycemic control or the cardiovascular risk factors.

Therefore, if you want something sweet, dark chocolate of high quality with a high cocoa content would be a good choice.


Rostami, A., Khalili, M., Haghighat, N., Eghtesadi, S., Shidfar, F., Heidari, I., … & Eghtesadi, M. (2015). High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves blood pressure in patients with diabetes and hypertension. ARYA atherosclerosis11(1), 21.

Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Foods that can reduce blood pressure. This is not a regular diet.

See what pistachio nuts can do for you.

Posted by on Diabetes, Eating, Eating, Glucose, Nut consumption | 0 comments

Roasted pistachio nuts seed with shellIf you want a quick healthy snack, then pistachio nuts would be a good choice.

The reviewed research had diabetic patients either assigned to a group receiving 25 g of pistachio nuts twice a day as a snack or a control meal without nuts(Parham M, et al. 2014).

After 12 weeks the participants had a washout period of 8 weeks before the groups were switched.

The results showed that eating pistachios decreased HbA1c (a long-term measure of glucose control) as well as fasting blood glucose. Eating the nuts also reduced systolic blood pressure, body mass index and CRP an inflammatory marker.

Nuts are a much better choice than so called nutrition bars if you want a snack.



Parham M1, Heidari S2, Khorramirad A2, Hozoori M3, Hosseinzadeh F1, Bakhtyari L4, Vafaeimanesh J1.Effects of pistachio nut supplementation on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014 Summer;11(2):190-6. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.190. Epub 2014 Aug 10.

Surprising way artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance.

Posted by on Artificial Sweeteners, Bloodsugar, Diabetes, Eating, Eating, Glucose, Health, Insulin resistance, Tissue Recovery Blog, Type 2 diabetes, Wellness | 0 comments

Artificial sweeteners are used as an additive in both beverages, as well as food, to improve taste since most people prefer a sweet taste.

sweeteners picSince these sweeteners contain very few calories, they are also popular in diet beverages and diet foods. They are even used in products marketed to people with diabetes and promoted as a good alternative to sugar.

This seems to be a big mistake according to the reviewed research(Suez J, et al. 2014).
The results demonstrated that consumption of these sweeteners are causing glucose intolerance because they alter the composition of the intestinal bacterial flora in a negative way.
These results have been reproduced in both humans and mice.

The last thing you want to do is to consume a substance that will make you more glucose intolerant. This is very important for diabetics, but also for non diabetics because you don’t want to develop diabetes.



Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, Weinberger A, Kuperman Y, Harmelin A, Kolodkin-Gal I, Shapiro H, Halpern Z, Segal E, Elinav E. Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota. Nature. 2014 Sep 17. doi: 10.1038/nature13793. [Epub ahead of print]

How do you think stress affects your metabolism?

Posted by on Eating, Eating, Exercise, Fat, Insulin resistance, The Learn to Eat Plan, Tissue Recovery Blog, Weight loss | 0 comments


Fotolia,fatYou don’t want to have a slow metabolic rate because that would make it harder to maintain a lean body composition.
You can probably also agree that most of us are exposed to plenty of stress during a average day.

I think you will find the reviewed research interesting because it investigated how stress may affect our metabolic rate (Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. 2014).

Fifty-eight healthy women, with the average age of 53.1 years, participated in the study and were given high fat test meals. The day prior to eating the test meals, stressors were also assessed using a standard test. Fat and carbohydrate oxidation, triglycerides, cortisol, insulin and glucose were measured before and after the 2 high fat meals.

It was found that greater numbers of stressors were associated with lower fat oxidation after the meals and also higher insulin levels. The difference between stressors the day before and no stressors turned out to be 435 kj which is approximately 104 calories. The researchers estimated that it could add up to almost 11 pounds per year in weight gain.

This means that stress can contribute to weight gain.

You may not be able to control the factors contributing to stress, but you can, with some training, control how you react to stress.

In other words you can make yourself more stress resistant.
Meditation is a great tool for that.




Kiecolt-Glaser JK1, Habash DL2, Fagundes CP3, Andridge R4, Peng J4, Malarkey WB5, Belury MA6. Daily Stressors, Past Depression, and Metabolic Responses to High-Fat Meals: A Novel Path to Obesity. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul 9. pii: S0006-3223(14)00385-0. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.05.018. [Epub ahead of print]