An Interview With Dr. Lane Sebring

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Dr. Lane Sebring Discusses The Paleo Diet’s Affect On Heart Health

Dr. Lane Sebring founded the Paleo Pharmacy and Sebring Clinic in Wimberley, TX.  He is one of the main Paleo diet advocates, who has formatted the diet to help all kinds of people. We caught up with him to learn more about his background, and ask him some common questions about the Paleo diet.


Who is “Dr. Lane Sebring”?

I have practiced medicine for nearly two decades. I earned my Biology degree from Texas University in Austin, and my MD from the Galveston Medical Branch of Texas University. During my career, I have become passionate about Paleo, healthy living and fitness. I enjoy posting articles about these topics on my website.

How did you become involved with the Paleo lifestyle?

While I was at medical school and when I started working in residencies, I began to question the conventional methods used in some medical facilities. Some of the standard treatments were too generic, so I wanted to focus on methods that treated each patient as an individual. This was around the time that I founded my Clinic and discovered the Paleo diet. I knew that this diet would be beneficial to my patients in a variety of ways.

How does the Paleo diet benefit the heart?

The Paleo diet consists of foods thought to have been eaten by our cave dwelling ancestors, such as vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts, lean meats, plant based oils and fish. Dairy products, processed foods, salt, potatoes, grains, legumes and refined sugar should be avoided, along with alcohol – since they’re known to contain hidden sugars.

This is the healthiest way to eat. Invariably, healthy adults who switch to the Paleo diet from a normal Western diet experience an increase in levels of interleukin-10. This indicates a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

 Are carbs bad for the heart?

Carbs usually get a bad press, because people eat too many nutrient poor, highly processed types of carbs – such as sugary cereals and chips – which often replace more healthy food. Carbs do not harm your heart, providing you choose a range of minimally processed, whole carbs in moderation.

Typically, healthy carbs should contain naturally occurring vitamins, fiber, antioxidants and minerals. Whole vegetables and fruits, 100 percent whole grains and cereals, reduced fat, unsweetened yogurt and milk, and dried lentils and beans are all examples of healthy carbs. As well as moderation, variety is important. The more varied your diet, the more nutrients your body receives.

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In general though, popular American carbohydrates like french fries and pasta are best to avoid.  They can create a lot of extra, unused fat that can clog arteries.  Overeating too much of these kinds of foods can put you at risk for heart disease.

How does inflammation affect heart health?

Inflammation in the body is an integral part of healing. Acute, or temporary, inflammation sends immune and blood cells to the location of an infection or injury, destroying invading organisms and facilitating tissue repair. Acute inflammation is a healthy and natural part of the body’s immune system. In contrast, chronic inflammation causes the immune system to malfunction.

If the body’s infection fighting and healing mechanism is constantly activated, due to lifestyle features such as a bad diet, obesity or regular stress, the body remains consistently inflamed. This type of inflammation increases the likelihood that you will develop coronary heart disease.

Chronic inflammation in the blood vessels makes them highly prone to injury. This enables bad LDL cholesterol to get into fissures inside the vessel walls. The body then detects a foreign substance, which triggers further inflammation, further damage and further accumulation of cholesterol. Ultimately, some of this blockage escapes causing a blood clot. Alternatively, the built up cholesterol just narrows the arteries and stops circulation, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

What is the best way for newcomers to adopt the Paleo lifestyle?

Rather than calorie counting and trying to measure portions precisely, focus on eating the correct foods instead. There’s no need to keep track of how much you have eaten, or obsess over how many ounces of a specific nutrient you have had.

Calories are not a particularly accurate yardstick – 500 calories of potato chips have a completely different impact on the body than 500 calories of good quality protein and vegetables. If you can eliminate certain foods from your diet and broaden your horizons, you can stop fretting about calories forever and concentrate on developing a new relationship with food.

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