You may have seen the recent USA Today article, Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy, based on a statement released by the American Heart Association advising Americans to replace saturated fat (as is found in coconut oil) with omega-6 rich polyunsaturated fatty acids from vegetable oils. The article quickly went viral on social media, causing a panic among natural foodies, crunchy moms and those who’ve used coconut as a substitute for vegetable oil and other cooking oils.

But here’s why I don’t want you to panic about coconut oil. Coconut oil is an absolutely healthy fat especially when eaten on a low carbohydrate diet.

When coconut oil is added to a healthy whole foods-based, low-carbohydrate diet, you will see an improvement in your lipid profile over time.

The USA Today article calls coconut oil out for raising the LDL (a.k.a. “bad”) cholesterol levels in seven out of seven controlled trials. But the reality is that on their own, high cholesterol levels are a poor predictor of cardiovascular risk. In fact, the most recent Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee no longer considers dietary cholesterol a nutrient of concern, given that there is "no appreciable relationship between dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol or clinical cardiovascular events in general populations,” so cholesterol content should not deter you from consumption of saturated fat. (Mozaffarian & Ludwig, 2015)

Low cholesterol has also been indicated as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, suicide, homicide, accidental deaths, and morbid depression. Other research has shown that women with a total cholesterol below 195 mg/dL have a higher risk of mortality compared to women with higher total cholesterol. (Petrusson, Sigurdsson, Bengtsson, Nilsen, & Getz, 2012).

Saturated fats are only a concern when eating with highly refined carbohydrates as in the Standard American Diet.

The saturated fat in coconut oil isn’t all bad for you, either. In fact, recent data in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which compiled data from 21 studies including more than 340,000 people who were followed for an average of 14 years, concluded that there is no clear relationship between the consumption of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. (Siri-Tarino, Sun, Hu, & Krauss, 2010)

A high-fat diet may actually reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. A trial published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2016 showed that eating a high-fat diet improved biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk and insulin resistance. (Veum et al., 2016) Replacing proteins and carbohydrates (sugar, wheat, etc) with healthy fats, including coconut oil, may reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. There is little evidence that a low-fat-high-carb diet aids in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes or obesity. (Mozaffarian & Ludwig, 2015)

The consumption of extra virgin coconut oil has been demonstrated to significantly reduce body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference and produce significant increases in concentrations of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in patients with coronary artery disease. (Cardoso et al., 2015)

While coconut oil certainly isn’t as unhealthy as the USA Today article claims, it must be consumed in moderation with an otherwise healthy diet. If you simply add coconut oil into your Standard American Diet, you will not see the potential health benefits coconut oil has to offer.

Read more about coconut oil and its benefits here.

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Too much stress in your life doesn’t just affect your mental well being, it wreaks havoc on your body and could lead to symptoms mirroring those of hypothyroidism.

Types of Stress

Stress comes in a number of ways, some impacting us more than others and at different times in our lives. At some point in time, most of us will experience stress in some (or all) of these forms:

  • Financial stress

  • Relationships

  • Schedules

  • Commutes

  • Raising children

  • The stock market

  • Skipping meals

  • Living a “western” lifestyle

There are other factors not commonly considered when people think of “stress” which also burden the adrenal glands. Fluctuating blood sugar is the most common way that adrenal dysfunction and high or low cortisol can wreak havoc on the body’s metabolism by causing hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Other common factors that stress the adrenals are dysbiosis, food intolerances (especially gluten), chronic infections and autoimmune issues, environmental toxin and inflammation.

Stress and Your Body

The adrenals are two glands that are about the size of your thumbnail that sit atop the kidneys. They secrete hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for our body’s response to stress. Adrenal fatigue is the name given to a poorly working adrenal gland in response to mental, emotional or physical stress.

Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep and waking up

  • Mood swings

  • Frequent illness and susceptibility to colds and flues

  • Irritability or lightheadedness between meals

  • Sugar and caffeine cravings

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Eating to relieve fatigue

  • Dizziness when moving from sitting or lying to standing

  • Gastric ulcers

Poor functioning adrenals can cause hypothyroid symptoms without any problem in the thyroid gland itself. In such cases, treating the thyroid is both unnecessary and ineffective and addressing the adrenals themselves is the key to improving thyroid function. Many times, people, especially women, have been treated with thyroid hormones only to have no relief of their symptoms of weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, etc.

Adrenal stress can also impact thyroid function more direct ways, including the following five mechanisms:

Promotes Autoimmunity by Weakening Immune Barriers — The digestive tract, lungs and the blood-brain barrier are the primary immune barriers in the body. They prevent foreign substances from entering the bloodstream and the brain. Adrenal stress weakens these barriers and promotes poor immune system regulation. When these immune barriers are porous large proteins and other antigens like lipopolysaccharides are able to pass into the bloodstream or brain where they don’t belong. The immune system gets keyed up and we become more prone to autoimmune diseases.

Disrupts the HPA Axis — Studies have shown that the inflammatory cytokines (messengers) IL-1 beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, which are released during the stress response, down-regulate the HPA-axis and reduce levels of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). So your body doesn’t make as much thyroid hormones.

Reduces Conversion of T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone) — 93% of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland is T4, in inactive thyroid hormone that must be converted into T3 before it can be used by the cells. The inflammatory cytokines from adrenal stressors disrupt the hypothalmus-pituitary-adrenal gland (HPA ) axis, they also interfere with the conversion of T4 to T3 in peripheral tissues such as the liver and the gut. Inflammatory cytokines have been shown to suppress the conversion of T4 to T3. In fact, inflammatory cytokines have been shown to suppress thyroid receptors on the cells making the thyroid hormones ineffective at increasing cellular activity. While there’s no practical way to measure receptor site sensitivity in a clinical setting, the research suggests thyroid receptor messaging is decreased in autoimmune and other inflammatory conditions.

Causes Other Hormonal Imbalances — Cortisol is released by the adrenals during the stress response. Prolonged cortisol elevations, caused by chronic stress, decrease the liver’s ability to detox excess estrogens from the blood. Excess estrogen increases thyroid binding globulin (TBG), the proteins that thyroid hormone is attached to as it’s transported through the body, making the hormone inactive. TBG is like a cab that drives the hormone around. When it is not functional, the thyroid hormone cannot get out of the cab. Other drugs can also increase elevated TBG including birth control pills and estrogen replacement.

What Do You Do If You Have Poor Adrenal Function?

Adrenal stress is caused by many factors from diet, lifestyle and psychological stress to immune issues, dybiosis and inflammation. When these conditions exist, they must be addressed or any attempt to support the adrenals directly will either fail or be only partially successful.

General guidelines for adrenal health:

  • Stabilize blood sugar via a balanced paleo or ketogenic diet

  • Practice stress management and relaxation techniques

  • Avoid dietary causes of inflammation – food intolerances, Omega 6 fats, processed foods

  • Have fun, laugh and make pleasure a regular part of your life

  • Take adequate intake of Omega 3 fats DHA & EPA

  • Additional nutritional supplementation of phosphatidylserine and adaptogenic herbs like Siberian ginseng, Ashwagandha, Rholdiola and Holy basil leaf extract are also helpful in supporting the adrenal glands

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Individuals dealing with skin cancer have options when it comes treatment. There are both conventional skin cancer treatments, as well as natural methods for treating skin cancer available.

Let’s take a look at the options.

Conventional Skin Cancer Treatments

The National Cancer Institute recommends five different types of standard skin cancer treatments, including:

• Surgery – cut the tumor out
• Chemotherapy – poison the tumor
• Radiation therapy – burn the tumor
• Photodynamic therapy – drug and laser light therapy to kill cancer cells
• Biologic therapy – using the immune system to fight cancer

In many cases, these treatment options can have extreme side effects and actually damage the immune system and increase the likelihood of treatment-induced infections such as pneumonia or Candidiasis or increased risk of metastasis because the immune system can no longer monitor and control abnormal cell growth.

Natural Treatment Options

While conventional skin cancer treatments can be effective (though not without some risk), some patients may benefit from homeopathic skin cancer treatments, such as using natural essential oils with cancer fighting properties. These include: frankincense, myrrh, black raspberry seed and eggplant extract oils.

Frankincense Oil – Frankincense oil has been used for thousands of years as a treatment for health concerns. There are 17 active agents in most frankincense species and researchers have set out to determine which ones exactly target which type of tumors. Several (major) clinical studies have been recently published proving its ability to kill various cancers including breast, bladder and skin tumors. There are 17 active agents in most frankincense species and researchers have set out to determine which ones exactly target which type of tumors. (Source)

Myrrh Oil – Myrrh oil has also been used for thousands of years as a treatment. Two studies show myrrh may kill certain cancer cells, including: prostate cancer, breast and skin cancer cells. (Source)

Black Raspberry Seed Oil – Black raspberry seed oil has immune boosting properties and may target the tumor itself. (Source)

Eggplant Extract – According to a study published in Cancer Letters, a cream with a 10% concentration of solasodine rhamnosyl glycosides (BEC) – a phytochemical extracted from eggplant – has been clinically proven as an effective treatment for keratosis, basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, selectively killing cancer cells without harming normal cells.

How to Apply these Oils

A great way to get all the healing benefits of each of these treatments is to make your own skin ointment blend, using 100% pure essential oils.

5 mL of Frankincense oil
5 mL of Myrrh oil
5 mL of Black Raspberry oil
1 Tbsp organic eggplant extract cream

Directions: Apply your treatment on the affected area twice a day or as needed.

If you have sensitive skin, or allergies, then I recommend testing any skin treatment first.

Before you apply to your skin, place a small drop of each oil on the inside of your arm and let sit overnight.

If you show no redness, then you should be clear to use these oils topically.

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How you eat and the personal care products you use can have a direct effect on your skin’s appearance and health. If you want to have clean, healthy skin and to reduce your risk for skin cancer, it’s time to clean up your diet and remove all toxins from your environment.

Use natural or organic cleaning products. Drink filtered water. Use non-chemical beauty products (especially avoid sodium laurel sulfate, propylene glycol, parabens, etc.) Check out the guide from Environmental Working Group to help you choose healthier skincare products. You can also try making your own skin care products out of natural elements (here are some recipes to start with).

Since cancer thrives in an acidic and toxic environment, it is important to remove any foods that increase inflammation in the body, including:

  • Processed foods

  • Refined sugars (corn syrup and artificial sweeteners)

  • Omega 6 vegetable oils like corn and soy oil

  • Fast food

What foods should you be eating for healthy skin?

  • Lots of healthy vegetables in a rainbow of colors.

  • Organic grass-fed meat and eggs

  • Wild-caught fish

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Healthy fats such as avocado, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or clarified butter

  • Fruits such as berries (blackberries, blueberries, goji berries, etc.)

Make it your goal to eat seven to nine servings (1/2 cup cooked or one cup raw) of fruits and vegetables each day.

Using skin healthy supplements can also help eliminate toxins in your body and reduce your risk of skin problems. Consider supplements such as:

Vitamin D — Ironically, one of the proven vitamins to combat cancer is also the one that you get from being in the sun! Take a supplement Vitamin D3 with MK7 (a form of vitamin K) to boost your immune system and help fight cancer.

Probiotics — Seventy-five percent of your immune system is in your gut and the probiotics are the stars that keep your gut healthy. When given the right nutrients, your immune system is designed to fight cancer. Taking a variety of soil-based and food-based probiotics is important to build up the culture in your intestines. We recommend Prescript-Assist by Ancient Minerals and a variety of other food-based probiotics such as UltraFlora Balance in our practice with great results.

Selenium — This mineral found in water, soil and some foods has been found to reduce the risk of death from skin cancer by 50 percent and using it resulted in 37 percent fewer malignancies according to a study published in the 1996 Journal of American Medial Association. Selenium supplements should be taken in moderation though. It is best to consume selenium from whole food sources like Brazil nuts, walnuts, free-range chicken or grass-fed beef.

Curcumin — A substance found in tumeric, curcumin has a long and storied past as a natural cancer cure. Several studies on cancer proved that curcumin is effective at killing cancer and preventing further cancer growth and metastasis. Studies have shown it to be effective against breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.

Pancreatic (Proteolytic) Enzymes — Pancreatic enzymes taken between meals become proteolytic enzymes. This enzyme is released into your bloodstream to break down scar tissue and clean up debris and old cells. In a cancer patient, the pancreas may not be able to keep up with the demand to create enough enzymes to digest the protein-based cell walls of cancer cells. Studies in 1981 showed that enzyme treatment was shown to be extremely effective in reducing the symptoms of cancer and helping to reverse it.

Stay tuned for our next article on skin cancer treatments.


Here are five key reasons today’s food contains fewer nutrients than the food of past generations:

1. Monoculture farming (the practice of growing a single crop on a very large scale) over crop rotation has depleted the soil of key nutrients.

2. The Agri-business companies harvest early before the produce has ripened and really assimilated all the nutrients from the soil.

3. Selecting limited food crops for ideal flavor but not variety and nutritional content.

4. More toxins in our food (pesticides, preservatives and even BPA).

5. Environmental chemicals in our air (pesticides, herbicides), skin care, hair products and toothpaste.

Adequate nutrition — including: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients and essential fats like omega 3s — is essential to the body’s detoxifying process. Increased toxin load in our environment and diet means more need for more nutrients. Lack of nutrition means lack of ability to detoxify. Our bodies simply cannot keep up.

When the body cannot keep up with the detox process, toxins bioaccumulate, leading to illness and disease, such as cancer. When we have less nutrition from our food, we have less capacity to detox. According to a study published in Scientific American, “Workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer…The findings add to evidence suggesting that frequent use of pesticides could raise the risk of melanoma. Rates of the disease have tripled in the United States in the last 30 years, with sun exposure identified as the major cause.” These chemicals are used in the United States on a variety of crops, including nuts, vegetables and fruits.

So could it be that skin cancer is from toxin exposure and the sun is actually helpful. Vitamin D is cancer protective. So therefore, sun exposure without getting burned would be cancer protective.

When you eat food that is low in nutritional value and high in inflammatory Omega-6s and your body is forced to manage toxins we were not designed to detoxify, then your body becomes toxic, and full of free radicals. It becomes inflamed, and acidic which is the prime environment for cancer.

What is Skin Cancer?

Healthy cells in our body grow and then at a prescribed time, the cell replicates and then dies in a process called apoptosis. Cancer occurs when cells abnormally grow and no longer get the “die” message. Skin cancer occurs when the skin cells begin to abnormally grow. Any abnormal growth of skin cells is considered skin cancer, but only two are considered malignant.


What are the Types of Skin Cancer?

There are three primary types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and is relatively harmless. This type of skin cancer often appears as red patches, shiny bumps or scars. It is estimated that up to 3.0 million cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma is usually benign because it rarely metastasizes (spreads) past the original tumor site.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant type of cancer and occurs when upper layers of the skin become mutated and abnormal cells start to grow uncontrollably. Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma include open sores or scaly red patches that can also bleed or crust. Squamous cell carcinoma has a raised boarder pattern and a small hole in the middle. It’s been reported that 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year resulting in 2,500 deaths.

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of malignant and potentially fatal skin cancer. Melanomas skin cancer symptoms are bumps or patches that resemble moles and are usually black or brown with irregular borders. However, they can be blue, pink, red, white or even skin-colored. If detected early, melanomas are generally curable. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanomas “develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells…triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.”

The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer Symptoms

These five keys of skin cancer symptoms can help you recognize skin cancer early.

Asymmetry — Moles are usually round in shape. Draw a line through the middle of the mole or lesion on your skin. The two halves should be even or symmetrical. If the mole is not symmetrical this is a sign that the tumor may be malignant.

Border — Non-malignant tumors will typically have a smooth, regular border. The border of an early melanoma will generally be uneven or jagged.

Color — A mole has only one color. Melanomas often have color variation of shades of black, brown, and tan. They may also be blue, red and other colors.

Diameter — As a rule of thumb, non-malignant skin cancers are smaller than ¼ inch in diameter. Melanomas are usually larger in diameter, so keep an eye on anything that is larger.

Evolving — If the mole changes in color, elevation, size, or shape and bleeding, crusting and itching are signs that you should have the mole checked.

Not all cancers fit the ABCDE’s. Other symptoms of skin cancer include: pigmented patches or growths that grow beyond their border, redness, swelling, tenderness, pain or sensitivity in a bump or mole.

It is important to take note of any new skin spots or growths, and consult with your doctor for any moles, freckles, or spots that seem different from the others.

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Here are the current stats on skin cancer reported in the media:

  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

  • Almost 90 percent of melanomas can be linked to sun exposure and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, usually from sunburns not just from sun exposure.

  • Regular daily use of sunscreen (SPF 15+) reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent.

  • One person dies of melanoma every hour.

But are these claims completely true? Skin cancer rates are increasing despite sunscreen use and despite the fact that more people are spending time indoors rather than outdoors. So what gives?

Here are some truths you need to know about skin cancer:

  • The sun does NOT cause skin cancer.According to the British Journal of Dermatology, studies have already disproven this theory as it has been discovered that most skin cancer did not develop from areas or freckles created by sun exposure.

  • We need vitamin D to live, and regular full body sun exposure is the healthiest way to synthesize Vitamin D. Our cannot make vitamin D without sun exposure. According to the Environmental Working Group research: “Every major public health authority — the FDA, National Cancer Institute and International Agency for Research on Cancer — has concluded that the available data do not support the assertion that sunscreens alone reduce the rate of skin cancer.”

  • Many sunscreens are filled with toxic chemicals that have been linked to skin cancer. Even the best sunscreens pose certain risks.

So if sunscreen does not protect against cancer, then what does? The first question we all should be asking is this: is the rise in skin cancer caused by the sun?

Could it be that the changes in our nutrition, diet and foods or environmental factors such as bioaccumulation of toxins from body care products, sunscreen and other pollutants are the real cause of the rise in skin cancer?

The good news is there are many options available to reduce your risk of bioaccumulation of toxins and overall risk. It is first important to know what toxins contribute to skin cancer, what skin cancer is, the five skin cancer symptoms, and natural aids to your skin’s health. These topics will be covered in my next few blog posts. So stay tuned!


I have to admit for several years now, I have been resistant to personally doing intermittent fasting. I have a fairly stressful, fulfilled life as a nutritionist in practice and as a CEO of two companies. To be honest, I felt that intermittent fasting would be too hard on my cortisol and leptin control. But, I am also a body hacker and often use my body as the N=1 experiment so I decided to give intermittent fasting a trial run.

First, I dug into the research of Dr. Varaday and alternate day fasting. (Click here to read about the different types of fasts.) In her experiments, Varady’s subjects did alternate day fasting in which they ate a 500-calorie meal for lunch on one day — the fast day — and then the next day ate what they liked and continued on this one day fasting, one day feeding pattern. This pattern then was repeated.

Then I combed over the work of Valter Longo and his colleagues on intermittent fasting for periods of five days at 500 calories with several days of refeeds. In their research, the participants followed specific caloric and macronutrient restrictions for five days and then went back to normal eating for up to one month with positive after effects of weight loss, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammation, aging and cancer.

My First Intermittent Fasting Protocol: Week One Results

First Five Days: Each fasting day, I ate one 200-calorie meal at lunchtime and then one 300-calorie meal at dinner time. This was to allow for time at the table with my husband while he was eating. I did find myself hungry on days three to five after dinner. I think it would work better to do one meal at 500 calories one time in the day around lunch. The combine values of meals consisted of 70 percent of the calories from fat, 10 percent from carbs and 20 percent from protein. Example: Two ounces of chicken thigh, one small avocado, one cup of spinach — garnish with lemon and salt for the day with lots of water. I also allowed one cup of Organo Gold coffee with MCT oil in the morning.

After the five days, I found I had great energy and my clothes were loose. I had lost 5lbs in five days. After the first two weeks of refeeding, I kept the weight off and still felt good.

So looking at the work of Valter Longo, this result, albeit short, mimicked what they saw in their research — all inflammation markers improved.

Next I am trying alternating fasting days with refeed days. Below is my modified alternate fasting day plan. After this experiment, I will let you know how it goes. This time I am doing lab work before and after to track inflammatory marker changes.


• Each fasting day, eat one 500-calorie meal (women) or one 600-calorie meal (men) ideally at lunchtime. This meal should consist of 70 percent of the calories from fat, 10 percent from carbs and 20 percent from protein. Example: Two ounces of chicken thigh, one small avocado, one cup of spinach — garnish with lemon and salt. Have hot tea or one cup of coffee with one tbsp of MCT oil at breakfast to keep the catecolamines reduced.

• On fast days, exercise moderately in the morning with a brisk morning walk.

• Have hot beverages with no sugar in them between meals on fast days. Drinking a warm beverage tricks the body into thinking you have had a small, warm meal. I prefer bone broth during the day and a warm tea like chamomile tea at night.

• Eat enough protein on non-fast days.Adequate protein intake is associated with fullness and satiety. If you are maintaining a ketogenic diet, your ratio of 70 percent fat, 10 percent carbs and 20 percent protein would still be a goal without any calorie restriction. If you don’t want to stay ketogenic, you can eat a modified ketogenic diet at 60 percent fat, 20 percent carbs and 20 percent protein. I am going to stick to a 70/20/10 ketogenic diet for the refeeding days.


• Exercise in the evening on fast days, or you may want to eat more and you may have more insomnia.

• Keep your weight lifting and more intense workouts to your refeeding days. Refeeding days with more calories are the ideal days to work hard with more fuel available for HITT exercise and anaerobic exercise.

• Break up your meals on fast days. For most people, having a MCT oil laced breakfast beverage, plenty of water and a 500-calorie lunch on fasting days with bone broth and tea over the evening work better than having three 150 calorie meals.

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Secret Energy Weight Loss Ritamarie Loscalzo

Secret energy weight loss Ritamarie Loscalzo, DC on Metabolic Blueprint radio with Betty Murray. Today’s show is about how to create sustained energy and weight loss through nutrition and applied supplementation with a special focus on the challenges women face in losing weight and having everlasting energy for their busy lives.

Dr. Ritamarie is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic with Certifications in Acupuncture, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, and HeartMath®. She is a certified living foods chef, instructor, and coach. She has trained and certified hundreds in the art of using palate-pleasing whole fresh food as medicine. As the founder of the Institute of Nutritional Endocrinology, s...

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Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone. As mentioned in my previous blogs on this topic, those with adrenal fatigue and poor insulin control cannot jump into intermittent fasting overnight. It takes a skilled plan to move you from feeding frequency to control blood sugar — the often quoted three meals and two snacks a day to insulin sensitivity and then reducing the number of meals you have to three per day with no snacks and no crashes between meals. This must be done before embarking on intermittent fasting or you most likely will not get the benefits you desire from intermittent fasting.

But there is a darker side to intermittent fasting — It can lead to orthorexia, a disordered eating pattern where one becomes obsessed with eating what one deems “healthy food.” This just like any other eating disorder can become destructive. If a dietary regimen has strict guidelines, it can feed into the control mechanism that is often at play in disordered eating.

On the other side, hunger induced by the fasting can lead to binging above and beyond what would be considered a healthy refeeding cycle. That hunger physically may result in a feeling of fullness but the brain and emotional centers may not get the right message to stop feeding at the full signal. Or even worse, we might rationalize the over eating due to the fasting that preceded it.

Danger Signs to Watch For While Intermittent Fasting:

• Becoming obsessive, down to the minute, with the fasting and feeding time window.
• Feeling overly full from the large meals causing the desire to restrict intake.
• Rationalizing larger meals than what is prescribed after a fast.
• Dodging family friends and events to control your exposure to foods during fasting periods.
• Consuming large amounts of caffeine to kill your appetite between feeding.

There can be a “dark side” to intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is fine for some, but not for all. The studies show also that men tend to handle it better than women from a body chemistry and hormones standpoint.

According to Stafani Ruper’s, Paleo for Women, a review of the evidence on intermittent fasting, Ruper found that sex differences on studies with rats suggest a heightened sensitivity to starvation in females as opposed to males, in particular in terms of the adrenal stress response, which is harmful to reproductive systems and sleep cycles. One of these studies (Martin et al. 2007) suggests that this kind of physiological response in women may be a clue to the higher prevalence of anorexia in women than men.

Common symptoms of starvation including of elevated hunger and heightened cognitive and motor activity, along with the accompanying reproductive shutdown, may increase female survival in periods of famine (see also Hoyenga and Hoyenga 1982), but may also represent an evolutionary basis for women’s greater vulnerability to anorexia thanks to its distinctive cognitive-physiological accompaniments. This means fasting may be more likely to act as a dangerous trigger for eating disorders in women than in men.