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  • Nutrition to lower cortisol

    So I had the 24hr saliva cortisol test and I am on the high end, but normal in the morning but do not drop by the end of the day, so when it's bedtime I have double the amount in my system.

    I am working with a NP and she has recommended some PhosphatidylSerine. I also hope to add in some Rhodiola ( advised from Dr Sara Gottfried's book The Hormonal Cure)
    I am also taking steps to modify my workouts to Sprint 8 style in the morning 2x/week and add in yoga and walking.
    Also, I am in the midst of adding meditation, but it has not become a practice yet.

    The last part I'd like to focus on is the nutrition part. My understanding thus far is that I don't want to overly restrict due to a cortisol response. But I'm feeling a bit lost. I like to have macronutrient ratios or amounts in mind. I would love to see fat loss from my middle.
    Current stats:
    Almost 38yrs
    5'3"
    143lbs
    Aprox 27% body fat

    I don't feel hungry if I keep calories around 1600-1800 55%Fat, 25% Protein, 20% Carb... But I'm not losing the fat.

    How do you inspire your body to burn the fat that the high cortisol is telling it to hold on to it? Thanks for your thoughts!

    ( I have a new journal called Momto3's Journey to healing and health which has some progress photos. )
    Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

    June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
    Current: 155 - size 10/12
    Goal:135 - size 8

    My Journal

  • #2
    I should mention that I eat 99% primal. The questionable item is rice cakes, nut thin crackers and jasmine rice.

    I enjoy meat, veggies, grass fed butter, heavy cream, nuts and berries. I also have unflavored whey protein.

    The common staples include: beef, lamb, chicken thighs, pork, salami, turkey deli meat, grass fed hot dogs, trying to incorporate some liver.
    Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, Swiss chard, asparagus, green beans
    Berries, apple, banana
    Macadamia, almond, pistacios, pine nuts
    Sweet potatoes or rice on workout days
    Occasional indulgence almond flour pancakes, cupcakes -things sweetened with honey, maple syrup are on rare occasions. Sweet things are a huge trigger for me to crave more and be more hungry in general.
    Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

    June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
    Current: 155 - size 10/12
    Goal:135 - size 8

    My Journal

    Comment


    • #3
      Flip the ratios. 55% carbs, 20% fat. Should have you losing fat and lowering cortisol.

      Comment


      • #4
        No thank you. I did that for most of my adult life. I have PCOS. Ended up overweight, high triglycerides. Not going back there.
        Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

        June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
        Current: 155 - size 10/12
        Goal:135 - size 8

        My Journal

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Momto3 View Post
          No thank you. I did that for most of my adult life. I have PCOS. Ended up overweight, high triglycerides. Not going back there.
          What types of food were you eating? Ever tried it with fruit, potatoes, dairy and a bit of meat and eggs?

          Comment


          • #6
            He's not talking about grains and such. Were you eating refined carbs before, or things like potatoes, squash, and other starches?

            While I don't know if I agree with the ratio being THAT drastic, reducing fat and eating more starchy carbs and fruit may be beneficial to you. It's worth a try for a couple of weeks, isn't it? Especially for people dealing with hormonal imbalances, low carb can be devastating (I know many people here disagree).
            Depression Lies

            Comment


            • #7
              Pre-primal I was eating the SAD. Whole grains, brown rice, low fat, sugar.

              With having PCOS, I am very hesitant to go above 100g carbs. Right now I get 75 average. If not as drastic as 50% carbs, what would you suggest?

              Here's an interesting article.
              http://www.paulinehardingmd.com/page5.html

              "Low glycemic index foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, and most vegetables tend to lower the cortisol level. If one starts with a normal morning cortisol, eating foods from the low glycemic index category every five hours during the day is needed to keep the cortisol on its normal downward track."

              "High glycemic index foods, such as sugar and refined starches, cause cortisol levels to rise. For individuals who start the day with a normal cortisol level, starchy or sugary breakfast food choices can cause the cortisol to overshoot the normal range. The cortisol will likely remain elevated all day - and all night. Intervention with herbs or supplements that lower cortisol can help."

              "Steps to Take for a Normal Balanced Cortisol Rhythm:

              Go to bed by 10 p.m.
              Eat breakfast by 7 a.m.
              Eat low glycemic index meals every five hours while awake.
              If you eat gluten grains, use sprouted whole grains.
              Avoid sugar and excess starch.
              Maintain erect posture and avoid prolonged periods of sitting or flexion posture such as fetal position during the night. (See "How to Age Rapidly - or Not," in my "Doctor's Corner," for NOHA NEWS, Winter 2002.)
              Control pain.
              Manage emotional stress. Following the first seven guidelines allows us to respond with more stamina and less stress to the challenges of daily life.
              Confer with a health practitioner familiar with hormone function and therapies that help correct cortisol rhythm.
              Meditate daily. Know that each of us prays without ceasing. Discover anew that every thought and every word is a prayer. Keep in touch with the True Source of health and healing."
              Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

              June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
              Current: 155 - size 10/12
              Goal:135 - size 8

              My Journal

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Momto3 View Post
                Pre-primal I was eating the SAD. Whole grains, brown rice, low fat, sugar.

                With having PCOS, I am very hesitant to go above 100g carbs. Right now I get 75 average. If not as drastic as 50% carbs, what would you suggest?

                Here's an interesting article.
                http://www.paulinehardingmd.com/page5.html

                "Low glycemic index foods such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, and most vegetables tend to lower the cortisol level. If one starts with a normal morning cortisol, eating foods from the low glycemic index category every five hours during the day is needed to keep the cortisol on its normal downward track."

                "High glycemic index foods, such as sugar and refined starches, cause cortisol levels to rise. For individuals who start the day with a normal cortisol level, starchy or sugary breakfast food choices can cause the cortisol to overshoot the normal range. The cortisol will likely remain elevated all day - and all night. Intervention with herbs or supplements that lower cortisol can help."

                "Steps to Take for a Normal Balanced Cortisol Rhythm:

                Go to bed by 10 p.m.
                Eat breakfast by 7 a.m.
                Eat low glycemic index meals every five hours while awake.
                If you eat gluten grains, use sprouted whole grains.
                Avoid sugar and excess starch.
                Maintain erect posture and avoid prolonged periods of sitting or flexion posture such as fetal position during the night. (See "How to Age Rapidly - or Not," in my "Doctor's Corner," for NOHA NEWS, Winter 2002.)
                Control pain.
                Manage emotional stress. Following the first seven guidelines allows us to respond with more stamina and less stress to the challenges of daily life.
                Confer with a health practitioner familiar with hormone function and therapies that help correct cortisol rhythm.
                Meditate daily. Know that each of us prays without ceasing. Discover anew that every thought and every word is a prayer. Keep in touch with the True Source of health and healing."
                Sounds like great general advice IMO!

                Comment


                • #9
                  you are quite likely short of iodine, and estrogen dominant. If you use a pure progesterone oil (Progesterelle is the one I am aware of), start taking Lugol's or Ioderal for iodine, and cut out xeno-estrogens in your environment and diet, you may end up tippy top.

                  Most of us are short of iodine, many dramatically so, and many women who are estrogen dominant also need more iodine and suffer PCOS, fibrocystic breast problems, and sometimes fibroids.

                  Just a thought.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zach View Post
                    What types of food were you eating? Ever tried it with fruit, potatoes, dairy and a bit of meat and eggs?
                    @Zach- I think high cortisol is linked to my trouble sleeping. Like Momto3, I need to lose weight so am avoiding going too high carb. how do you suggest people lose weight without affecting cortisol, since it seems like any calorie/carb reduction triggers some sort of unwanted hormonal response.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Low carb diets can put stress on the adrenals and the thyroid which will definitely not lower your cortisol levels..

                      If you're really worried about gaining weight by upping your carb intake (which I doubt you will) eat mostly fruits and sugar (like honey) over starch (potatoes, rice, though they are still good for you).

                      To quote the master:
                      Fructose inhibits the stimulation of insulin by glucose, so this means that eating ordinary sugar, sucrose (a disaccharide, consisting of glucose and fructose), in place of starch, will reduce the tendency to store fat.
                      Is it weird in here, or is it just me?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have never heard anyone say that high glycemic foods raise cortisol. When i googled it the only thing that popped up was from the lady you posted so that right there says something about her info.

                        In fact the what i repeatedly read from many sources (just just Peat followers) is that carbs and specifically sugar blunts cortisol.

                        As for PCOS, i dont know much about it but it would seem that elevated insulin levels play a factor. Fructose does not spike insulin the way glucose (and protein) does. I believe a low carb diet with excess protein is very damaging and can raise cortisol, cause insulin resistance and hypothyroid. Replacing some muscle protein with fruit sugar, dairy and gelatin may help.

                        Heres an article from Danny Roddy on the subject. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Or: How You Lost Your Oxidative Machinery — The Danny Roddy Weblog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I read the article and would agree with the progesterone issue. I've read D Sara Gottfried's book and I definitely agree that I have progesterone issue. I think that may be the root of different issues. My health history has included irregular periods from beginning, endometriosis, PCOS, infertility, hyperplasia and high cortisol. It can look confusing because typically PCOS is considered too much testosterone and endo is too much estrogen.

                          Thanks for the link to the article. I've only just begun the cortisol lowering supplements. I am working with a functional medicine NP and she would like to test progesterone, but I need to save up money for more testing. ( just finished treatment for H Pylori)

                          I just re-read The Primal Blueprint section on recommended calories and macros. I will focus on nutrient dense foods. Lower heavy cream consumption and enjoy the summer fruit season.
                          Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

                          June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
                          Current: 155 - size 10/12
                          Goal:135 - size 8

                          My Journal

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Forget if you said your a coffee drinker or not, but if you have caffeine in the morning that can be a big problem according to studies like this:

                            Caffeinated Coffee Does Not Acutely Affect Energy Intake, Appetite, or Inflammation but Prevents Serum Cortisol Concentrations from Falling in Healthy Men

                            Cortisol is naturally high in the morning, but in the coffee drinkers it shows a significant difference in that it stays elevated.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No. Not a coffee drinker. I can't tolerate caffeine at all. I have to be careful about dark chocolate too. Thanks for the thought though.
                              Favorite Mark Quote: "I train to play."

                              June 2010: 168.6 -size 16
                              Current: 155 - size 10/12
                              Goal:135 - size 8

                              My Journal

                              Comment

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