Archive for category Food

Research shows weight loss is more about what you eat….

Scientific research has now re-enforced what many long term dieters have known for years…  There is more to weight loss than simply eating less….  What Dr. Richard Johnson and colleagues of the University of Colorado and Colorado Obesity Research Institute have found is that the type of food provided to the cell is the key to long term weight gain and weight loss.  No longer is it how much you eat but what you eat that drives weight gain and weight loss…

Sugar is making us tired and when we are tired our cells cannot function effectively.  This means instead of using calories for energy we store them as fat.  Sugar trips the fat switch.  Sugar, or more precisely fructose (one of the two components of table sugar) damages the cells’ ‘engine’.  This means on a cellular and whole body level we have less energy.  It is this decrease in energy that triggers our body’s ‘Fat Switch’ to store energy as opposed to burning it…

What we have been told until now is that we overeat and therefore become overweight.  However, Dr. Johnson’s research has shown that what in fact happens is;  we overeat because we are tired to try to increase our energy but because the switch is tripped to fat storage we gain weight.  Leaving our waistlines increasing and our bodies still feeling tired…

Fructose is the number one culprit, yes this is the main sugar found in fruit.  But don’t worry the fructose in fruit is quite low, compared to how much were are consuming as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  Plus most fruit are high in vitamin C that blocks the fat gaining effects of fructose.

switchThe key to reversing the fat switch involves stopping the continued damage from excessive sugar consumption. Then reversing the damage through a diet high in micronutrients and antioxidants.  Which means eating lots of colourful vegetables instead of sugar. So the take home message is replace sugar with vegetables to lose weight…

This is one component of the fat switch, join Ben Warren at one of his seminars where he will go through all the fat switch components and show you how to easily integrate them into your life without feeling hungry.  Click here to learn more…


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Can chocolate help lose weight??? Seriously!

The modern paradigm of weight gain/loss is based on hormonal and metabolic switches that turn on/off fat storage and energy metabolism.  The focus has shifted away from ‘how much we eat‘ to ‘what we eat’ as the predominant factor that effects weight gain and energy metabolism.  So rather than getting fat because we have overeaten, it is more of a case of we overeat because our body is telling us to store fat, sucking available glucose into fat cells, making us tired and hungry…


At the center of this new paradigm are the mitochondria, encapsulated organelles that are responsible for our energy production at a cellular level.  It is known that a decrease in the mitochondria function is at the forefront of decreased metabolism and weight gain.  Improving mitochondria function increases metabolism and turns off your body’s fat storage switch….  That’s exactly why people need to be taking a high quality Multivitamin like BePure ONE, as mitochondria require high levels of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C.


Introducing chocolate… The cocoa bean for many years has been known as one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet but recent research is poised to lift the Cocoa bean to new heights of stardome.  One of the the flavanoids, called epicatechin, appears to be one of the most potent mitochondria regenerators ever discovered.  When given to mice there was an increase in  skeletal mitochondria and an associated increase of 40-50% in exercise performance (1).  A human study where participants received either flavanol rich dark chocolate or flavanol poor white chocolate, showed the dark chocolate group had decreased blood pressure and decreased insulin resistance, a sign of improved mitochondria function (2).


Can chocolate help lose weight??

The straight answer is really dependent on how much sugar is consumed with the cocoa.  But if the sugar is low enough I believe it can…. I like to go with Linus Pauling’s upper limit for sugar consumption a day which is 8 grams, or two teaspoons.


If you are indulging in a square of 85% cocoa chocolate like Lindt then you will be getting around the 1.25 grams of sugar (15 grams in a whole bar), which I think is acceptable for the potential benefits your be getting from the cocoa.




Whereas if you are eating dairy milk with then you are staring down the barrel of 56 grams of sugar in a bar and only 25% cocoa – simply not worth going there!!





Of course, it would be even better to consume the cocoa in a raw form and with no sugar, but cocoa is naturally bitter and not very pleasent to be consumed on it’s own.  A really nice combination can be found in Little Bird Superfoods Trail Mix where cocoa nibs are mixed with gogi berries, activated seeds, nuts and dates.  Click here to learn more about the Superfoods Trail Cluster..


Based on the new paradigm of weight loss and health, supporting mitochondria biogenesis with cocoa looks like a good idea… Just be very careful about the amount of sugar you consume with it as the benefits may well be undone…

In health and happiness



1 – Nogueira, L et al. The Journal of Physiology 2011;589:4615-31.

2 – Grassi et al. Hypertension 2005;46:398-405.


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Is bacon healthy?

Well that depends on a lot of things… but it certainly can be.. Read on to find out how…

I say bring back the bacon!!

Yes folks you heard me right… Bring back the bacon!

There are two main traditional nutritional issues with bacon, the first being the high saturated fat content and how this might effect your cholesterol.  The second being the nitrates that are uses to cure commercial bacon.  Let’s deal with the fat content first….

For those of you who are new to the BePure Health Revolution, let me deal to a couple of basics about fat before we get into the nitty, gritty heart disease conversation.

  1. Fat does not make you fat, the only thing that can make you fat is carbohydrates because insulin is the primary hormone for fat storage and insulin is only secreted when you eat carbohydrates.
  2. Eating the right amount of fat for you will help stabilise your blood sugar levels, making you feel fuller for longer and helping you burn body fat.
  3. Eating fat stimulates bile release from the liver, which is the primary way your body get’s rid of toxins produced from detoxification by the liver, this bile stimulates a bowel movement – Therefore being a huge benefit for people who battle constipation.  This also helps your body get rid of toxins which otherwise would be stored in fat.
  4. Fat provide the precursors to your hormones, and hormones control everything that’s fun in your life (energy, feeling happy, sex, sleep etc).  Isn’t that reason enough alone??


Is bacon healthy? Reason #1

So, now for the fat in bacon… Being from an animal it’s high in saturated fats, saturated fats in the past have got a bad name because they can increase your cholesterol by an average of 12%.  We now know that not all cholesterol is bad, it’s really about the type of cholesterol and the ratios (to learn more about this click here to read a previous blog article).   Anyway, essentially  HDL cholesterol is your good cholesterol and LDL is your bad cholesterol (although technically these can be broken down further, we’ll stick with this for the purposes of this blog…)

O.K so we’ve been told we shouldn’t eat lard (bacon fat) because it will raise our cholesterol but when you actually look at lard (as Gary Taubes did in his great book ‘Why We Get Fat’) you’ll see that lard is not the killer it’s made out to be…

You see 47% of lard is monounsaturated fat, which is universally considered a good fat and used heavily in the Mediterranean diet.  Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol), and lower LDL (bad cholesterol).  Both good things according to your G.P.

Just over 40% of the fat in lard is saturated but a third of that is stearic acid a type of saturated fat that is also found in chocolate which raises HDL ( a good thing) and has no effect on LDL cholesterol. so, a good thing :)

The remaining 12% is polyunsaturated fat which lowers LDL cholesterol, a good thing and has no effect on HDL cholesterol.

So, over 70% of the fat in lard is beneficial to your cholesterol and the remaining 30% will raise your HDL, a good thing and also raise your LDL a bad thing, and so is neutral.

Put simply if you are currently not eating lard, but replacing those calories with carbohydrates (as most people are) you are actually increasing your risk of heart disease!! (click here to view an older blog with details of this…) So is bacon healthy? You bet!


Is bacon healthy? Reason #2….

The second main reason bacon has a bad name is because commercial bacon is cured with nitrates.  These nitrates can then combine with proteins to form nitrosamines and nitrosamines are highly assosicated with cancers of the digestive tract…

For this reason in the past I have advocated only eating nitrate free bacon, but recent research indicates that it’s not the presence of nitrates that’s the problem, it’s the lack of antioxidants eaten with the nitrates that allows the nitrates to form nitrosamines.  Whereas if adequate antioxidants are present then the nitrate actually forms highly beneficial nitric oxide – which are now highly recognised as being the common lacking factor in heart disease patients and erectile dysfunction…

This makes a lot of sense as 80% of the nitrites we ingest come from nature and vegetables. Nature in it’s wisdom also provides the antioxidants within these foods that keep us healthy through the production of nitric oxide…

So the key to making bacon healthy is to eat antioxidants with it… Any fruit or vegetable counts, the more different colours the better, and green leafy vegetables are one of the best sources of antioxidants…  Another fantastic source of antioxidants is BePure ONE and so just another reason to take your BePure ONE everyday… so bring back the bacon!!


In health and happiness

Ben Warren


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Can we have the incredible health of our ancestors in the 21st century?

I’ve had a fantastic couple of days listening to Sally Fallon and her husband, Geoffrey.  Sally Fallon founded the Weston A price foundation and is a world expert on traditional food preparation.  Yesterday, we had a great day at the Te Aranga Marae, the site of my nutritional intervention that featured on 60 minutes a couple of years back.  Pictured below is Sally and Geoffrey with two good friends of mine, NZ local hero award winner, Henare O’Keefe and Des Ratima.  And a picture of us talking after.




Characteristics of Traditional Diets according to the Weston A Price foundation (

  1. The diets of healthy, non-industrialized peoples contain no refined or denatured foods or ingredients, such as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup; white flour; canned foods; pasteurized, homogenized, skim or low fat milk; refined or hydrogenated vegetable oils; protein powders; artificial vitamins; or toxic additives and colorings.
  2. All traditional cultures consume some sort of animal food, such as fish and shellfish; land and water fowl; land and sea mammals; eggs; milk and milk products; reptiles; and insects. The whole animal is consumed­–muscle meat, organs, bones and fat, with the organ meats and fats preferred.
  3. The diets of healthy, non-industrialized peoples contain at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and TEN times the fat-soluble vitamins found in animal fats (vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2–Price’s “Activator X”) as the average American diet.
  4. All traditional cultures cooked some of their food but all consumed a portion of their animal foods raw.
  5. Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, dairy products, meats and condiments.
  6. Seeds, grains and nuts are soaked, sprouted, fermented or naturally leavened to neutralize naturally occurring anti-nutrients such as enzyme inhibitors, tannins and phytic acid.
  7. Total fat content of traditional diets varies from 30 percent to 80 percent of calories but only about 4 percent of calories come from polyunsaturated oils naturally occurring in grains, legumes, nuts, fish, animal fats and vegetables. The balance of fat calories is in the form of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  8. Traditional diets contain nearly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
  9. All traditional diets contain some salt.
  10. All traditional cultures make use of animal bones, usually in the form of gelatin-rich bone broths.
  11. Traditional cultures make provisions for the health of future generations by providing special nutrient-rich animal foods for parents-to-be, pregnant women and growing children; by proper spacing of children; and by teaching the principles of right diet to the young.

The only supplement that Sally believes we need is cod liver oil.   The product she recommends is Green Pastures Blue Ice Fermented Cod liver oil (this can be purchased through the BePure store).   I completely agree that we need more Omega 3 in our diet, the modern diet is heavily skewed towards excess omega 6 and maintaining the balance between Omega 3’s and 6’s is essential for control of inflammation (as noted in characteristic #8).  Cod liver oil is a great source of fat soluble vitamins A and D and therefore also fits perfectly with characteristic #3 of traditional diets.

We know that traditional cultures were in fact incredibly healthy, many cultures had no words for today’s modern diseases.  For example, the Hawaiians had no native words for any chronic diseases.   I know, some people say…  Well maybe they didn’t know they were dying from a heart attack, sure they might not have a word for ‘heart attack‘ but I’m sure they would have developed a word for ‘sudden pain the chest and then you are dead’!  The Maori in New Zealand had no cancer, the early European Doctors were studying them to find out why they were “immune” to cancer.  The cure for cancer is known, a clean environment and great nutrition!  There’s no doubt, traditional diets were and are the healthiest for sustaining life, it’s been proven through thousands of years.

Unfortunately, and fortunately we live in a very different world to our ancestors….


Modern lifestyle increases need for nutrition….

Traditional lifestyles were more relaxed than today, there’s no doubt they had there fair share of stress.  But a good friend of  mine who lived with different traditional tribes around the world for 2 years told me that in his experience they basically only work 4 hours a day, in the morning, and sit around under a shady tree all afternoon…sounds great to me!  The harder you push your body, the more stress you are under, the more vitamins and minerals your body uses.  In time of stress your body uses more B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc just to name a few.  I believe most of us in the western world are living beyond our nutritional limits, the evidence of stimulant use like caffeine and refined carbohydrates are good examples of the crutches people are using to deal with the day to day load of stressors.  The harder you push your mind and body the more nutrients you need!  It makes me wonder where people are getting these nutrients from considering their diets and lack of supplementation.

Modern farming increases need for minerals….

Many of the healthy traditional diets had access to mineral dense foods, whether that was seafood (the ocean is the biggest source of ionic minerals), even healthy inland cultures like the Hunza – had access to minerals, they irrigated their fields with mineral rich glacier water and carried the river bed soils up to their fields.  It is well established that modern agriculture is stripping the top soil of essential trace minerals, and nobody is paying the farmers enough to remineralise the soils.  Hence, the foods we are eating are becoming more and more deficient in minerals.   Minerals are key enzyme cofactors, I see mineral deficiencies as a common factor in many peoples health complaints, from fatigue to depression and sleep issues.

Modern food convenience means we get less nutrients…..

Traditional diets were based on eating fresh or fermented fruits and vegetables (since no refrigeration was available to them).  Fresh and fermented foods retain the highest amount of water soluble vitamins.  Water soluble vitamins in fruit and vegetables are very unstable. In fact, as soon as you’ve picked them or unplugged them from the ground they start deteriorating.  To the extent that after 4 days after being harvested up to 80% of the water soluble vitamins (B’s and C are lost).  With the average age of fruits and vegetables in the supermarket being 2 weeks old, it’s easy to see why people feel better when they take a B vitamin supplement – seeing that they are most likely deficient even when eating lots of fruit and vegetables.

Modern eating eliminates the most nutrient dense foods….

Traditional cultures went out of their way to get nutrient dense foods.  Eating organs, glands and special parts of animals, such as the eyes, to maximise nutritional intake.  One healthy isolated culture Dr. Price visited in Scotland ate fish heads stuffed with cod liver and oats for breakfast, a far cry from today’s breakfast choices.  Organs, particularly the liver, is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, unfortunately many people in the modern world simply cannot stomach eating such foods and are therefore missing out on the incredible nutritional benefits from doing so.  For example, eyes are known to be a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants vital to our own eye health due to the fact they protect the  eye from UVB radiation.  As most modern people are not eating these foods, they need to make sure they are getting these nutrients from other sources.

Environmental toxins increase need for micronutrients….

Traditional peoples lived in a relatively pristine environment. lets face it organic food didn’t exist, because that’s all there was!  We know that environmental toxins block enzyme function and increase the need for antioxidants, minerals and vitamins needed by the liver for detoxification of these toxins.  The modern world is full of environmental toxin exposure, from PCB’s and Dioxins from plastics to heavy metals mobilised in the soil by acidic fertilisers – they are simply everywhere, you cannot escape them!  All you can do is support your body’s system’s for dealing with them, which means more minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

Polymorphism of genes means we need more nutrients for enzymes to function optimally….

As our gene expression is diluted by poor nutrition by our parents, physical characteristics change (narrower jaw, nasal passages etc) and internal gene expression become less efficient.  For example, I have what is believed to be a genetic (or epigenetic) polymorphism in my liver enzymes meaning they don’t work as efficiently as they should.  Therefore, I need to take 40,000% the RDA of B12 to up regulate my enzymes to work at the optimal level to protect me from inflammation and heart disease.  This is potentially quite common, but most people simply do not know….


There’s no doubt that an ancestral diet to your own individual macronutrient needs should be the basis of your nutrition.  But on top of this, we need to the lay a foundation of broad spectrum supplementation to ensure our micronutrient needs are met. Hence, I recommend nutritional supplementation of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants something like what’s found in found in BePure ONE is perfect.  Even research published in the ultra conservative Journal of the American Medical Association recommend that adults should take a multi-vitamin, mineral supplement daily.  It’s very difficult to even get the recommended daily allowances from diet alone, let alone the optimal amounts.

The Weston A Price foundation diet is a fantastic basis for nutrition – and they are firmly entrenched in the BePure principles – but to truly have incredible health in the 21st century – there’s so much more to it….

God bless Dr. Price and the Western A Price Foundation for their passion in helping people have healthy lives.  And thanks.

In health and happiness

Ben Warren


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Latest research shows eating these vegetables everyday helps fight cancer…

Are you eating Cruciferous vegetables everyday?

Cruciferous vegetables are from the Brassica family – vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens and bok choy to name a few.  If you are not eating these everyday you might want to after reading this…

Latest research published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research reports that sulforaphane – one of the primary phytochemicals in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables – is able to selectively target and kill cancer cells, leaving normal cells healthy and unaffected.

In fact, cruciferous vegetables remarkable anti-cancer benefits are well documented. The combination of phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens) may be the key to their powerful effects.  They contain glucosinolates from which the body can make sulforaphane and indole-3-carbonol (I3C). This is converted into Di-indolyl-methane (DIM). All these compounds improve liver detoxification both of carcinogens, but also of excess oestrogens that are strongly linked to breast cancer.

So ladies you need to be eating your cruciferous vegetables…
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in many countries world wide, including New Zealand.  With three in every four breast cancers being oestrogen positive, meaning the cancer growth is stimulated by oestrogen.  Eating cruciferous vegetables and reducing oestrogen is therefore a major factor in protecting against breast cancer.

Gents you do too….
Researchers at the University of California, Berkley have discovered that Di-indolyl-methane (DIM) is a strong androgen receptor antagonist in human prostate cancer cells, helping protect against prostate cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables also induce enzymes in your body called cytochrome P450 enzymes, these enzymes are responsible for detoxification within your liver and help manufacture many of your hormones in the adrenal glands. This means that eating cruciferous can also help you stay slim with lots of energy!

So, if you are not eating cruciferous vegetables everyday you are increasing your risks of becoming oestrogen dominant and the health complications that come with that, plus you are limiting your energy production and fat loss.

I know that it can be difficult to eat cruciferous vegetables everyday,  that’s why I put raw organic broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and collard greens in BePure ONE, that way with BePure ONE you still are getting cruciferous vegetables everyday!

In health and happiness,
Ben Warren


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