Biohacking Vegetables

July 06, 2015

Biohacking Vegetables101 

 Reference:   Wikipedia, Biohacking Conference,   PBS

 What is Biohacking?   If I may give the simplest explanation, it’s figuring our how to do what you were designed to do, in the best and most satisfying fashion. Well, when we talk about our own health and lifestyle, it’s all about creating choices with food, sleep, brain health, relationships, activities, and exercise that gives us the best chance at being the best we can be.   Some of “biohacking”s proponents are about research on the cheap, outside of the traditional academic world, and without the constraints or ethical guidelines developed in those venues.   

Research that may harm people should be monitored and restricted.   There is a fine boundary with lifestyle choices and making decisions that could harm people.   For example, is it harmful to tell people to eat more vegetables cut out carbs from their diet? That would be the basis for the Bulletproof Diet.   Considering the massive failure of modern medicine to provide us with smart food guidelines, and the confounding ability of our food and pharmaceutical injury to create dangerous and harmful products, it’s no wonder the biohacking world has developed. 

My interpretation is that it is “us” figuring out for ourselves, what works best.   This email column is a “biohacking” exploration. How would we apply biohacking to vegetables?   By way of example, this is how I would consider it.  I would first explore what vegetables do to our bodies. Most green vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumbers, asparagus and broccoli are actually quite high in protein, and relatively low in free sugars.   Broccoli, as one example, has as much protein as steak when it comes to protein content per 100 calories.   Our bodies respond to them without much insulin release because the calories are released so slowly, and mostly in form of beta-hydroxybutryate from the digestion of cell walls being digested by gut bacteria, that we don’t need to release insulin. We metabolize the calories as fast as they are digested.   

That is a nice example of first understanding core biology and physiology. Do the research about how your body functions. A good biohacker would come to the conclusion that the majority of human food should be from vegetables that are green and have a negligible insulin response. Insulin lasts for 6 to 8 hours.   To have the main hormone that controls weight gain, appetite, glucose control be one that last 6-8 hours must mean that for 60 million years, the main diet for humans and their ancestors must have been foods that matched that and provided calories in a fashion that lined up with that endocrine need.   

That means green vegetables should be core to our diet. Then think about root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, or grains like corn, rice and wheat or fruits like apples and pears and you find foods that are filled with many more carbohydrates and mature in September and October. They have a lot of sugar, and less protein. They stimulate insulin. They encourage your body to secrete insulin to store calories for the winter.     A good biohacker would conclude, knowing that about when these foods ripen (fall – or just before winter or just before dry season) that they should be limited to those times of year we seek to gain weight.   You want to gain weight if you are aiming to go into a period of starvation. The challenge of our time is to figure out how to lose weight, not gain weight. We have been inundated with food filled with high calorie, carbohydrate laden foods. And we have gained weight.    Get the drift?   You can be a biohacker too. 

WWW. What Will Work for Me. (AKA: Biohacking) A good biohacker would conclude that the proper way to lose weight would be to back off completely from all foods that simulate insulin. That comes down to avoiding sugar, grains, root vegetables and too much meat.   What’s left is green vegetables and fat, and a bit of meat.   Want to lose weight? Salads with olive oil, spinach with bacon,……. Read the Book, The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey. He lost 100 pounds. Look up the Bulletproof Diet Cookbook by Chris Kane.   

 Pop Quiz

  1. Biohacking is the attempt by people in every walk of like to be the best they can be. T or F. Answer:   That about sums it up.
  1. It’s detractors claim it can be unethical? T or F.               Answer:  Possibly true if you are doing research without informed consent on things that can be dangerous.
  1. Our medical food guidelines represent a massive experiment that has caused immeasurable harm, without informed consent. T or F                   Answer:  True. So what’s the deal? We all got fat, diabetes and high cholesterol on those guidelines.
  1. We can trust that we will soon be following the biohacking crew with food guidelines.   T or F                          Answer:  True.   Institutional medicine will gradually get there.
  1. Want to lose weight, biohack yourself and get off carbs. Watch the weight melt away.      Answer:   Of course your Do
  1. Want to biohack a bit further and see if avoiding some foods helps you feel better?        Answer:   Give it a try.   Avoiding some foods is not unethical behavior. Just common sense.