Why the Secret is in our Sauces and Condiments

Why the Secret is in Our Sauces

The Calorie Model thought process is that sauces with sources of sugar and fat with loads of calories should be gotten rid of. Whereas a Stress Model approach sees sauces as sources of antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavonoids which come from our spices, herbs, citrus and fruits and should be fully utilized. Also found in our sauces are probiotic and fermented sources like sour creams, buttermilk, kimchi, saurkraut, cheeses and all varieties of vinegars in traditional sauces and condiments. So the stress model version of obesity being caused by stress, not by calories, makes these sauces valuable for regulating the stress of a meal and providing resources to balance stress. Sauces, to the chagrin of the calorie and ‘fat is bad” model, have quality and very evolutionarily purposeful fats such as egg yolks, olive oil, and butter. Sauces, what we think of as extra fats we don’t need, can actually be incredible contributions when it comes to a stress perspective because theoretically sauces can balance the stress of a meal. A Calorie model gets rid of sauces, a stress model embraces them.

Macronutrients: Paying a Tax

We all love a great steak, but from what we see in the news we hear that meat is “bad” for us. What makes meat bad for us? Well much like sugar sources there is tax to be paid when we cook and eat meat. Cooking the protein at high temperatures can produce by-products like Heterocyclic aromatic amines (fruits and veggies can protect from HAA’s) and an even greater tax when we combine our sugar and fats. Sugar and fat are our main sources of energy and calories.

Caveat: You may not always need sauces or there may be times when sauces and herbs will not be enough. This will of course depend on your system and the state of your system. Your system can be conditioned, programmed or regulated by past habits (excess fake fats) or exposures. It can depend on your age or current stress levels, the state of your gut and immune system, or even genetic predisposition. It’s not a cure-all or blanketed solution. When or if your system is degraded or in metabolic adaptation or if you have gut or microbiota issues, then those situations can make fats, sugar or other inflammatory causing foods problematic for us. There are times when the current health or state, or conditioned response can impact beyond adding sauces as a protective measure. Other dietary, pharmaceutical or combination and integrative therapies may be necessary.

Diet, Stress and your Brain

Your diet can also affect how well you make you decisions, the quality of your relationships, mental functioning and your physical stamina, so basically how good you feel and how good your progeny will feel and operate in the environment it is put into.

Early life and Epigenetic Programming (our body/brain “learns” from early exposure)


Very early life exposures or foods (like trans-fat or carbs) can make a difference on how we respond to foods later in life or obesity susceptibility. Those prenatal food exposures when you were in the womb, or maybe good food shortly afterwards, tell your system what to expect and how it might best respond. This is why the experience or food habits of your mother, father, grandmother and grandfather may make a difference in our responses. And unfortunately (but also fortunately for adaptive reasons) that may make “healthy” foods, like milk fats or glucose, more stressful and inflammatory leading to exasperated disease states. One may be in a state where most food, no matter the quality, are stressful to them. There could be many layers to resolve or address. Sometimes these system programming or communication can be altered through exercise and diet or integrative medical interventions. While we often think of eating and exercising as a math situation for calorie reduction, the real purpose here would be for their tremendous potential to act on adaptive reprogramming and modulate system interactions. We need to work with knowledgeable doctors and experts, or at the very least be getting responsible and accurate information for self-guidance, to regain our health.

Real Foods built our body systems. Fake Foods pull the Rug out from under us.

Real foods, including sauces and condiments, for most people in good states of health, can be a crucial, simple and currently missing area of focus of improving our diets. Sauces or condiments can be an important part of the whole picture of maintaining stress and inflammation to avoid stress and disease, perform at our best and insure the same for our children and grandchildren.

Mayonnaise use to be a health food. The secret truly did use to be in the sauce. Mayonnaise was originally made with olive oil, lemon juice, and egg yolk. It’s now a long shelf-life condiment made with flavors and cheap products to taste like the original. The one thing it retained? Calories. Our seemingly innocent condiments had a purpose and our brains purposed them to interact with and nullify the negative aspects and byproducts of our best energy sources, carbs and fat. A wonderful evolution so we can get the benefits of those foods without all of the side effects they can potentially create.

Getting back to basic flavors and contribution of the small supporting roles sauces place in our diet. This conceptual shift in thinking about food is the story of flavor and how these foods were responsible for our brain evolution and our mental and physical health.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats are not enough without our sauces, without our flavor combinations of sugar, fat and salt. Wine, herbs, salts, oils, vinegars and traditional flavor pairings. It’s about complex and the complexity of flavors that drive us to eat and it’s about the way we farm and treat our animals. We hear a lot about healthy food being good for us. But the truly remarkable and potentially catastrophic truth isn’t that it’s just good for us it IS us. We truly are what we eat in that it is intricately part of how and how well we evolve, how well we survive our daily lives and are able to handle our environment. So in that way, when and as we tinker with these delicate balances and nutrients (by using manufactured ingredients and flavors) we are teetering with our ability to function at our most efficient and effective manner. Food and food’s impact on our ability to handle stress can either expand or hinder our balanced growth and function. The remarkable thing is that had we had a larger view and shift from knowledge of finding information (single aspects) to the larger framework of the ecosystem (how those single aspects are applied in an interactive dynamic system), science ideally would have lead us to the correct conclusions all along. Instead our current over-simplified science (the easy single stuff with exact answers we like) gives us constant conflicting answers and misguidance.

Simple steps to solutions:

  • AVOID: Fake flavors, highly refined, processed foods, trans-fats, MSG and high fructose corn syrup as they impede our health and the healthfulness of other foods
  • Light whole foods and days mixed with heavy meals from time to time
  • Whole animal eating; encouraging a larger variety than “lean meats”
  • Fermented and cultured meat, cheese, vegetables, and dairy
  • Fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts, grains as tolerated, real cheese, well-kept animals, oils-butter-lard, wine, beer and spirits naturally fermented and prepared, traditional and culinary-style simple eating.
  • Exercise, fun, family, games, creativity, community, individuality
  • A new scientific approach; an ecosystem adaptive stress balancing approach to health and well-being.

Looking toward simply prepared foods from healthy animals with traditionally made sauces. Eating lightly most days, and feasts from time-to-time. Real foods including the miraculous ways recipes come together including fats, sugars and all the fantastic whole foods. Exercise, movement, challenges and games through sports and fun activities. Embrace and value the need and the powerful benefits of social connections with family, community, activities or friends. Clean up the environment; demand more from food providers and restaurants. Government to lift bans on real foods (from fear of “germs”) and to subsidize fruits, vegetables and small farms instead of the commodity crops. Embrace and take on stress, challenge our intellect, honor traditions, work to live don’t live to work. Schools incorporate diversity, creative learning, how to think instead of what to think. Our medical establishments to paradigm shift and include in their expectations an ecosystem nonlinear approach to health and recovery programs.

Additional References:

  • Dietary Polyphenols and Their Effects on Cell Biochemistry and Pathophysiology. Cristina Angeloni,Luciano Pirola,David Vauzour, and Tullia Maraldi. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012; 2012: 583901: doi: 10.1155/2012/583901 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3504472/
  • Influence of a high-fat diet on gut microbiota, intestinal permeability and metabolic endotoxaemia. Moreira AP, Texeira TF, Ferreira AB, Peluzio Mdo C, Alfenas Rde C. Br J Nutr. 2012 Sep;108(5):801-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001213. Epub 2012 Apr 16.
  • Down-regulation of NF-κB signalling by polyphenolic compounds prevents endotoxin-induced liver injury in a rat model. Bharrhan S, Chopra K, Arora SK, Toor JS, Rishi P. Innate Immun. 2012 Feb;18(1):70-9. doi: 10.1177/1753425910393369. Epub 2011 Jan 14. LINK
  • An Investigation of the Relationship between the Anti-Inflammatory Activity, Polyphenolic Content, and Antioxidant Activities of Cooked and In Vitro Digested Culinary Herbs. .Magali Chohan, Declan P. Naughton, Lucy Jones, and Elizabeth I. Opara Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2012; 2012: 627843.
  • Antioxidant Activities of Hot Water Extracts from Various Spices. Il-Suk Kim,1 Mi-Ra Yang,1 Ok-Hwan Lee,2,* and Suk-Nam Kang1 Int J Mol Sci. 2011; 12(6): 4120–4131. doi: 10.3390/ijms12064120
  • Dietary supplementation with two Lamiaceae herbs-(oregano and sage) modulates innate immunity parameters in Lumbricus terrestris. DA Vattem,* CE Lester, RC DeLeon, BY Jamison, and V Maitin* Pharmacognosy Res. 2013 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 1–9. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.105636
  • Spices: The Savory and Beneficial Science of Pungency. Nilius B, Appendino G. Rev Physiol Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Apr 19. LINK
  • Restoration of dietary-fat induced blood-brain barrier dysfunction by anti-inflammatory lipid-modulating agents. Pallebage-Gamarallage M, Lam V, Takechi R, Galloway S, Clark K, Mamo J. Lipids Health Dis. 2012 Sep 17;11:117. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-117. LINK
  • Biochemical, biological and histological evaluation of some culinary and medicinal herbs grown under greenhouse and field conditions.Yi W, Wetzstein HY.J Sci Food Agric. 2010 Apr 30;90(6):1063-70. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.3921. LINK
  • Neuroprotective potential of phytochemicals. .Kumar GP, Khanum F. Pharmacogn Rev. 2012 Jul;6(12):81-90. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.99898. LINK
  • A high antioxidant spice blend attenuates postprandial insulin and triglyceride responses and increases some plasma measures of antioxidant activity in healthy, overweight men. Ann C Skulas-Ray, Penny M Kris-Etherton, Danette L Teeter, C-Y Oliver Chen, John P Vanden Heuvel, Sheila G West. J Nutr. 2011 Aug ;141 (8):1451-7. LINK
  • Postprandial metabolic events and fruit-derived phenolics: a review of the science. Britt Burton-Freeman. Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104 Suppl 3:S1-14. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510003909. LINK
    • This review provides an overview of the postprandial literature, specifically on the effect of fruits and their inherent phenolic compounds in human subjects on postprandial lipaemia, glycaemia/insulinaemia and associated events, such as oxidative stress and inflammation. Among the identified well-controlled human trials using a postprandial paradigm, >50 % of the trials used wine or wine components and the remaining used various berries. Notwithstanding the need for more research, the collected data suggest that consuming phenolic-rich fruits increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, and when they are consumed with high fat and carbohydrate ‘pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory’ meals, they may counterbalance their negative effects. Given the content and availability of fat and carbohydrate in the Western diet, regular consumption of phenolic-rich foods, particularly in conjunction with meals, appears to be a prudent strategy to maintain oxidative balance and health
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