Food For Thought
Wow. Not just, “Wow,” but WOW!! Holy carp. I have been researching all different kinds of nutrients and foods for the last 25 years or so, but I never was interested very much in copper toxicity, because it was one of those obscure topics that I was sure didn’t pertain to me. Today, however, I found green-tinged limescale in my cheap Chinese stainless steel teakettle, and wondered if the greenish color could be caused by copper, either in the water pipes of the house or the construction of the teakettle. So I started to research, and if you click the link above, you will find what I found. Read the whole thing.
If you are taking/eating/using soy products, you might want to have a look at this one: Soy And Fertility. Not a match.
Wow! For all you nutrition sleuths out there, Sandy Simmons’ Connective Tissue Disorder page is all about what ails a lot of us in very mysterious ways. Lots of good, informative reading, lots of tips, lots of links to research abstracts and studies.
At last! I finally found a REAL nutrition chart from the 1950′s! If you notice when you look at this poster, the only thing pyramidal is the approximate shape of the segments on the wheel. This is what is known by us old-timers as “a BALANCED diet.” No one nutrient group is emphasized over any of the others. Of course, the little admonition at the bottom wouldn’t be much use in today’s dietary scheme because so much of the foods we buy are nothing but flavorized, colored, formed, pressed, processed, fortified, and loaded with empty calories. The thing the foods on the wheel above in common is the fact that (with the exception of “fortified margarine”) they are all ALL REAL FOOD. No additions, no extras. (as usual, click the picture to enlarge it)
Look at the beautiful nutrition poster below. I see that in the blurry fine print it mentions “Atkins,” although I don’t see BEEF or PORK anywhere on the chart. Please know that just because they can’t be found on any modern chart, they actually have not been officially condemned and banned by the below-mentioned meddlers and busybodies.
This is more like what the nutrition charts from my childhood days looked like (except that I can NOT find a single chart that doesn’t contain that STUPID pyramid), and nothing pre-1970. Notice which foods occupy which places and compare it to the modern illness-INDUCING “pyramid” the meddlers and jackbooted food-thugs have replaced it with for today’s American diet. Is it any wonder, then, that the diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endocrine, and obesity problems have skyrocketed since the new guidelines were forced on us in the 70′s and 80′s?
Dr. William Davis has written an awesome, authoritative book on the dangers of modern “wheat” in America’s diet, and how to get out of the vicious trap of wheat-fortified everythings. Not only is the book an eye-opener, but it is loaded with enough science to slow down even the fastest reader. I have it on my kindle, and have already read it through completely three times. I still feel like I need to go back and give it another going over to make sure I have all that important information filed in all the right slots in my brain. Truly a life-saver for many, many people. Read it and you will see why.
When you get tired of getting a cold every time the seasons change, or just can’t seem to climb out of that “below par” feeling; when you are tired of taking handsful of supplements to boost this, suppress that, stimulate the other, and whomp them all back into shape, know that there is hope for ya, skippy!
Yes, you CAN take one or two supplements and put the rest of them on the back of the shelf for the foreseeable future. ” Eleutherococcus senticosus. < Take the time to read the article at the link, and be encouraged. If I had to choose two or three herbs to keep in my medicine cabinet, it would be Eleuthera, olive leaf , and ginger. Please remember that herbal supplements are strictly dietary supplements and are not meant to be cures for anything. The herbs recommended here are not meant to replace any biochemical process in human health.
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Is Chronic Fatigue turning you into a limp dishrag? If so, you probably need a combination of alpha-lipoic acid, CoQ-10, and L-Carnitine.
Read this to see what I mean.
Add COCONUT OIL to your kitchen cupboard, your medicine chest, and your makeup/hygiene regimen. Beautiful, wonderful, absorbable, luscious, beneficial, and nutritious COCONUT OIL! Add coconut oil to your diet for extra energy
If you are plagued by odd symptoms that center around food and digestion, and just WON’T GO AWAY, you might want to check out this page regarding the symptoms and possible consequences of a lack of sufficient stomach acid.
This link will take you to an American College of Nutrtion abstract of a study on magnesium deficiency. This is actually some VERY important information.
Dr. Mary G. Enig, Ph. D, and Sally Fallon give us the truth about dietary fats. Important reading.
This link will take you to a recent article by me with internal links to some authoritative repors regarding cholesterol and statin drugs. Please read thoroughly.
FAT OF THE LAND
Just in case you’re still sticking all that yickky low/no-fat junk in your face and thinking you are doing your body a favor by doing so, I offer THIS. And, just in case you think I’m awful for advocating eating as much butter, steak fat, and coconut milk/oil as you can get into your body, remember this: Twenty years ago, I was a fat-free vegetarian with about a year to live. I’d lost a breast to cancer, I’d had a massive infection from an abcessed tooth that caused frequent trips to the hospital for outpatient IV treatments of antibiotics, I weighed 220 pounds, my blood pressure read like the National Debt, I was losing my hair, my skin was flying off in clouds of powder, and I couldn’t stay awake after 2:00 pm, or get to sleep when I went to bed.
Today, I eat all the fat. I DON’T eat the bread, the sugars, or the processed foods I did before. I’m 30 pounds lighter, haven’t seen a doctor or a dentist is 5 years, the last time I had my blood fats checked, they were all in the low-normal range. My blood pressure is back down in the low-normal range. My hair has grown back in, and my skin looks pretty darned good for a little old lady. Believe me: If there is one thing I know about, it’s the consequences of a low-fat/no-fat diet.
NUTRITION STUFF OF USE TO EVERYBODY
Everything in nutrition is related and connected. When a nutrient is depleted, it often causes problems if another nutrient is also depleted, but often, replacing one without also replacing another causes the kind of imbalance that leads to deficiency symptoms elsewhere.
Wisdom tells us that we are what we eat. In geekspeak, that translates to, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Faulty diets and poor eating habits will create the kinds of symptoms we see our bodies experiencing every day. I guess the easiest way to do this is to break it down into the basic nutrient groups:
CAROBHYDRATES and EMPTY CALORIES
Protein is an essential building block. Did you know that bones are built on a “scaffold” of protein? But not all protein is the same. Chicken meat is not as nutritious as beef, lamb, turkey, or pork, none of which is the same as whole egg. Lamb is easily digestible, but has less good nutrition that fish, pork, or beef. Pork is full of good, nutritious, body-building B-vitamins.
The body is capable of making most proteins from just about any form of nutrition. They are not a problem.
But some amino acids (the basic components of protein) are easily available in the diet, and almost all food contains SOME amino acids, even if they are inserted artificially to cause chemical changes in whatever is being processed. I don’t have to tell you how bad processed foods can be for you, because you already know that much. But some “natural” foods are not as unprocessed as we are led to believe. “Shelf life” is the name of the game for food processors. What profit is there in something without preservatives that will go rancid or stale on a shelf in a matter of days? So unless you prepare everything you eat from scratch, you are going to be finding some denaturing in your diet.
A diet that relies heavily on protein for nutrition is dangerous. A straight protein diet can cause dangerous illness. Years ago, there was a diet called “The Last Chance Diet.” It was a liquid protein fast. It worked like crazy, but there was a bad side effect: It caused the heart muscle to be utilized as food, and people were dying because there was NO fat anywhere in the diet. Fat is found on meat for a reason. The reason it’s there is the protein in the meat must have the fat in order to be properly digested and assimilated. If one is averse to the natural fat found on meats, they should supplement animal-source fat from elsewhere (like butter) in order to utilize the proteins found in meat. Eating pure protein doesn’t take long before it lets you know it’s not your best diet choice. Queasiness or nausea, dry skin, acne, loss of hormones, brittle and falling hair with split ends, dry eyes, are all found in low fat diets. Natural animal-source fats are ESSENTIAL.
Soy has been proven to be a strong source of estrogen-like hormones that can cause varying degrees of problems at the top of the food chain. It makes little boys mature late, have almost feminine characteristics and emotions, and can even push little girls into early menarche. I try to avoid it like the plague.
Body fat in women should make up between 10 and 20% of their total body mass. Men have a need for less fat, and can get by with 15% or less. Unfortunately, the skeletal women on the fashion runways are the new female ideal, so girls begin dieting at the very time in their lives when they should be eating a varied, well-balanced, and naturally wholesome diet. If you can see a girl’s clavicle, she is too thin. But social pressure and body image are the things that girls LIVE for. Unfortunately, it is also the reason a lot of them die. Marilyn Monroe was a size 14, and weighed 135 pounds.
Soy protein is not complete. No matter how it is advertised it can never replace the protein found in food. Soy mik is a nasty concotion created to replace whole, nutritious milk from cows or goats by vegans. It is not milk, and no matter how they fiddle with it, they can’t make it do what whole, natural milk does. I don’t care what they say. The “experts” claim that “the Japanese eat a lot of soy, and they are healthy!” Not so. The Japanese eat soy that has been FERMENTED, in small servings. They do not, like the Americans do, try to eat their soy fresh or raw. There are peptides and compounds in soy that are detrimental to human health, that can only be neutralized by LONG cooking or fermentation. Soy sauce, good. Soy milk, BAD.
The BIGGEST dietary boogeyman in the world is this: “Dietary fats will make you fat.” Actually, the reverse is true. Dietary fats will slim you down, give you energy, soften your skin, make your hair shiny, and lower your cholesterol. Honest.
Here’s the deal: Eating food causes several things to happen, of course, not the least of which is an increase in insulin released from the pancreas, to deal with any starches and sugars you might have eaten. Fat does not stimulate insulin. If it can’t stimulate the production of insulin, it can’t be stored. The pancreas looks at fat and says, “Meh…” A bit of dietary fat gets stored in the liver to be turned into glycogen but mostly, it goes into the production of hormones, hair, and skin.
Insulin is known as “the fat-storage hormone.” It is also the hormone responsible for roughing up the inside surface of blood vessels, which bruises blood cells. When this happens, the body sends in its Band Aid squad, cholesterol. Cholesterol is used by the body to “patch” or smooth over the roughened places in the blood vessels. (…sound like “too much cholesterol in your blood?) Insulin also stores fat in what are called, oddly enough, “fat cells,” most of which are mostly clustered in the abdominal area, but can be distributed over the entire body if the body is in starvation mode, but that’s a different story for a different time. Insulin is stored WITH fat in the fat cells, for future use as energy. For susceptible people, this can lead to obesity of all degrees, but since obesity isn’t the problem here, we won’t go into more detail. Suffice it to say simply that insulin causes a lot of problems when it is out of control, which leads us to…
Cholesterol is an ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT. The more you eat of it, the better, actually, for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is the main component of hormones, cell structure, and gives the walls of cells strength and structural integrity. If you removed all the cholesterol from your body, you’d be a puddle of goo. Eating cholesterol will help keep the skin from sagging and wrinkling as you age. Lack of animal-source cholesterol in the diet causes the body to make its own—FROM SUGAR. This autonomous cholesterol is inferior in many ways, and it is the “LDL” your doctor shakes his finger in your face about. The best way to prevent the overproduction of LDL by the body is to make sure you get plenty of good natural animal-source cholesterol in your diet. Eggs, meat, cream, butter, all are very good sources of this good cholesterol. Mother’s milk is high in cholesterol, because it is simply the best source of the main ingredient of cell production and construction in growing babies. Staying young-looking is easy when you eat plenty of natural cholesterol. It nourishes hair and skin, eyes, heart, and muscle. Remember the protein in the bones? Put cholesterol there, too, because bones are made of cells. It is also one of the brain’s preferred nutrients.
I can’t say enough about vitamins. We require two kinds: fat soluble (A,D,E and K) and water soluble (B and C). The fat soluble vitamins come from mostly animal sources (A and D, for instance, from the livers of cod fish), and the water soluble ones come from plant sources. A little A gets produced in highly colored vegetables, but it is beta-carotene, a version that is more difficult for the body to assimilate than the animal-source variety. Vitamin D can be made under the skin in places where people spend a lot of time in the sun with a lot of skin exposed. For the rest of us, it means we MUST supplement daily. It is essential in the proper storage of calcium in the body, so don’t neglect it. If we wear clothes, live and work indoors or have to dress warmly outside, we will never be able to make enough autonomous Vitamin D to satisfy the needs of the body. Get supplements and take them faithfully. The best one is good old cod liver oil. The only bad thing about it is the taste, but if you take it with a meal that problem won’t be a problem. :o)
Vitamin A is essential for reproductive health, for healthy skin, eyes, and hair. It is found in cod liver oil (the most practical source) and it is one of those nutrients that gets a bad rap from whiny leftist nutrition busybodies who just can’t stand to see us put anything in our mouths that might have touched an animal once. The claim is that high doses of vitamin A can cause problems. Possibly, but you’d have to eat hundreds of thousands of IU’s over a considerable period to get a reaction, and then, as soon as you stopped taking it, the reactions would subside. So, stay away from whale liver every day, and you won’t have to worry.
Vitamin E is another fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for fecundity and good health. It, along with vitamins A and C are also antioxidants.
The water-soluble vitamins are the B-complex and vitamin C. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, and you can get more of it from a green pepper or a slice of cabbage than you can in an orange. But nobody wants to eat cabbage, so they eat oranges instead. C is essential for the immune system, for skin health and for the continuing health of the digestive systems.
The intestines are a very important part of the immune system, so keeping them healthy and working right, with all the proper bacteria in the right proportions is essential to resisting disease and staying healthy. The best way to do this is with “probiotics,” which I call “gut bugs, “ because they are the friendly bacteria that live in a healthy intestinal tract.
Back to the water soluble vitamins: The B-vitamins are absolutely essential for mental health, for blood production, and for liver function. Because they are water-soluble, they can very easily be washed out of the body if a person drinks a lot of water or other liquids (more than 3 quarts a day). If you want to drink lots of water (especially in the winter, when heating systems dry out the air and dehydrate everything that isn’t sealed in plastic), make sure you supplement the vitamins daily. I take them three times a day, just in case. A good B-comp supplement is essential for good mental health, Vitamin B6 and B12 especially, although they all contribute to the proper transmission of neural messages.
Minerals, like B and C vitamins, are also water-soluble, and are flushed out of the body as quickly as the B-vitamins. For that reason, they must be faithfully supplemented. They are essential not just for bones and teeth, but also for mental health (magnesium, for example, is a mild tranquilizer and muscle relaxer, best taken at bedtime), and must be taken in proper proportions in order to get the most from them. For example, most “mineral complexes” contain lots of calcium, but only a small amount of magnesium. The proportions should be reversed, because the calcium can’t be stored in the bones without the presence of magnesium, and modern diets are extremely deficient in it. Magnesium is also essential to the proper contraction of the heart, and prevents tics and spasms.
A good way to get the TRACE MINERALS like iodine, boron, vanadium, chromium, etc., is from plain old kelp. It is cheap and readily available, and has all the trace minerals in proper proportion.
Outside of water and air, the most essential nutrient your body requires is enzymes. Enzymes are essential in every process the body performs: creating energy, digesting food, healing wounds, keeping a normal heartbeat, etc. Enzymes are present in all natural foods and absent from any food cooked at temperatures over 12o degrees for more than a few seconds. Raw foods all contain all the enzymes necessary to digest them, but heating them over 120 degrees destroys them. The best way to make sure you have all the enzymes you need for all the processes your body completes in a day is to add them with supplements. They are easy to find and inexpensive, and are extremely safe to take. The usual recommended dose is three or so with each meal.
CARBOHYDRATES AND EMPTY CALORIES
Carbohydrates are the starchy, sweet elements in most diets. They are the main component of virtually all refined and processed foods. Sugar feeds cancer cells. Strangely enough, your body really does not need carbohydrates to function normally, even under stress and heavy activity. Once a body is detoxified from starches and sugars, it cruises happily by creating its own glucose (called “gluconeogenesis”) from fat. That’s why the Atkins / Carbohydrate Addict/ Endocrine Diets work so well. When the carbohydrates are withdrawn, the fat is burned as a resource for glucose. But humans do not need carbs for anything. That’s why they get stored as fat: simply because if you are eating the right diet, there is nothing for carbohydrates to do, so they get stored as fat.
Do not be afraid to use plenty of butter, since it is about the only source of butyric acid, an essential fatty acid. DO NOT USE VEGETABLE OILS FOR ANYTHING except oiling your bike chains. Vegetable oils have been heat-processed and denatured (even the expensive, “natural” ones) and are dangerous for the body because they cause cell walls to become soft and collapse, and the poly-unsaturated fatty acids contained in them suppress the immune system, among other things. For cooking, use olive oil, butter, or coconut oil.
Add the supplements I mentioned, especially a good, comprehensive adult multivitamin, and a potent B-comp. Compare ingredients on all supplements, and get the most bang for your buck. Add coral calcium, and later in the day, take a magnesium supplement (they compete for some of the same receptors, so taking them at the same time isn’t practical.) Take cod liver oil faithfully, as well as the B-comp. If you want, you can add the probiotics, like the Primal Defense I told you about. They will always be a good addition to any diet. The whole idea is to give your body what it needs to be at its best. Cheating it of historically valuable nutrients and flushing out water-soluble minerals and vitamins is not a good way to do that.
Add variety with your meat selections. A nice pork tenderloin, for example, is lean and tasty. Tenderloins are called that for a reason. They are tender and lean. Natural turkeys that have not been injected with flavor enhancers like MSG and margarine or vegetable oils are also an excellent choice. Free range beef is always leaner than feedlot meat, but more expensive. Poultry fed on soy-based feed will be full of soy-related chemicals. Always read labels carefully, and watch out for stuff that says, “Hydrolized soy protein” or “plant based protein sources,” or something. Nine times out of ten, the plant they are referring to is the soybean. A lot of times, it will say, “vegetarian,” which means that any protein in the preparation will be from soy.
Through all the years that I have been searching for a real foundational eplanation of the numerous, mysterious, and plaguing problems that have beset me since I was old enough to say, “This HURTS!” I never dreamed it would be so “easy” to learn the truth.
Challem, if you are not familiar with his work, is called “THE Nutrition Reporter.” He has been writing nutrition based articles for one magazine, book, pamphlet or information sheet after another for years. “He is a leading health and medical writer and a contributing editor for Body & Soul and Let’s Live magazines, as well as other consumer health publications. His scientific articles have been published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine Hypotheses, and other Journals. Challem is the lead author of the bestselling “Syndrome X.” (Back jacket blurb)
In this book, Challem shows us that what we eat really does matter, and that a lot of what we eat is simply being reacted to by our bodies as foreign matter. Allergies, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and numerous other problems can be clearly and quickly traced to the body’s reaction to the manipulated “anti-foods” we put into them in an attempt to fuel them with denatured and artificial meals.
For one thing, Challem carefully describes the biochemistry of inflammation effects, and what parts of the body suffer worst from what kinds of inflammations. For me, this was the most interesting part of the book. It was technical without being too scientific to be understood, and it explained a LOT.
A syndrome, as in “Inflammation Syndrome” is defined as “…a group of symptoms that characterizes a particular disorder.”As a general rule, syndromes contain the same basic package of symptoms every time the disorder is encountered. There are “benchmark” symptoms that define the disorder, and there can be any number of satellite symptoms that might/can be frequently found in the same patient.
Inflammation is a general term, and refers to the body’s attempt to deal with an injury or insult. Under the right conditions, it’s a good thing–the body’s message to the immune system to muster the macrophage “troops.” But when the same injury/insult is not removed or healed, the immune-system response can become “locked” into a defensive position against the body itself. The term is used by Challem to describe a situation in which the body’s immune responses are “heated up.” (InFLAMEd, get it?)
Fortunately for us, he was paying attention in all those seminars, conferences, and classes. He defines the problems clearly, then carefully lists ways in which the inflammation response can be “cooled:” By dietary modification (not complicated) and the addition of certain nutrients and supplements that have been gradually removed from the Western diet in the last fifty years or so, without attention to that nutrient’s place in the necessary biochemical scheme of things. Inflammatory conditions result, and are perpetuated from one generation to the next by the way we feed ourselves and our children, and the manufacturers’ response to our purchasing habits.
I have two teeny quibbles with the book, but they aren’t major enough to mean brushing the work aside as unsatisfactory. For one thing, he doesn’t mention even ONE time the supplementation of cod liver oil or coconut oil, both providing absolutely essential fatty acids that cannot be provided elsewhere. He is diligent to recommend fish oil as one of the primary treatments for the inflammation problems Challem mentions in the book, but never mentions either cod liver oil or virgin coconut oil.
The other quibble is that he seems to be swallowed up by the black hole of misinformation regarding saturated fat in the diet being the “cause” of heart disease and stroke. But, it’s understandable that he thinks that way, even when he mentions Vilhalmur Stefansson’s experiment in the early part of the last century, when he and his partner agreed to eat nothing but meat for a year. About four days into the test the two men became ill. Then it was discovered that all the fat had been removed from their meat. When the fat was restored and even more added, the men’s health returned and remained for the balance of the test. All their blood fats were normal, and they had both lost about six pounds each. Challem doesn’t mention the test by name, but the proof of the beneficial nature of animal fat is in the test, nor does he mention how essential the animal fats were to the success of the test.
But, if you have been wondering why you are feeling so “under the weather” for so long, this book might hold a lot of answers for you. I recommend it most highly.