January 4, 2012
By David Blyweiss, M.D.
In This Issue:
- The Four Food No-No’s
- What you can and should eat
- Follow this final recommendation and never diet again
You Are What You Eat
There is no lack of controversy, conflicting information and downright confusion about what to eat…and what not to eat… these days.
Should you eat for your blood type? Like a caveman? Like a rabbit?
Seems like the more complicated it becomes to eat right, the easier it is to throw up our hands and give up. But since it’s part of a very important New Year’s resolution that I’m encouraging you to make, I want to make it as simple as possible for you.
Remember, the resolution I’ve proposed is to eat right, gently move your body, and sleep 8 hours. Those two little words, eat right, are a mouthful.
Let me break it down for you…
It is impossible to state strongly enough how important food is to your health. It is our first line of defense against disease. It provides every system of our body with nourishment. And it also has the potential to do serious damage.
Because diet has so often been linked to diet-ing, and weight has been more about looks than health, we have lost sight as a culture of the most basic function of food. Health and nutrition.
So when I say eat right I mean for your health. Will you lose weight? If you have it to lose, probably. But these tips are not strictly for weight loss, but rather to support optimal health.
Surely, there are many things you could add to your diet – such as greater quantities and varieties of fruits and vegetables. But this resolution will be most effective if you are willing to give up what I’m calling the Four Food No-No’s.
You can take time with the elimination, so you have time to make adjustments and replacements. By giving up the following four foods, you will make an enormous difference in your health. I would even go so far as to say it could save, or at least dramatically extend your life, regardless of your current health status.
No-No #1: Gluten
For most Americans, no gluten means no wheat…unless you have celiac disease, in which case the difference between wheat and gluten makes a big difference.
The problem with wheat is that it has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Agricultural practices that emphasize drought resistance have a produced a heartier, not healthier, grain that bears little resemblance to the “amber waves of grain” memorialized in our national anthem. There’s an excellent book I highly recommend you read, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, that explains these changes and how they affect you.
For the purposes of our resolution, what you need to know about wheat is that it makes you fat, and is almost as addictive as heroin.
Chemically speaking, wheat contains amylopectin A, which converts to blood sugar faster than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. That means two slices of toast can spike your blood sugar higher than a candy bar would. Two hours later, your blood sugar plunges, you feel shaky, your brain feels foggy, and you’re hungry again.
Not only do you pack on the pounds when you get caught in this cycle, you create the perfect environment for diabetes and heart disease to flourish.
Wheat also creates an opiate called gluteo-morphine that crosses the brain-blood barrier. Yes, an opiate – like heroin – which is why kicking the wheat habit is so difficult.
I’ll give you fair warning… you will hate this part of your resolution for 5 days. You might even feel in state of withdrawal – because you are! But once you kick the wheat habit, and start shedding the pounds, you should find it much easier to stay away from it.
No-No #2: Cow’s Milk Dairy
Milk from cows is the best stuff on earth… if you’re a baby cow. But for humans, when we wean from our own mother’s milk, we would be better off without any mother’s milk.
Every mammal’s milk is specifically designed for its young. So unless you want the massive girth and weight of a cow, I don’t suggest you drink the milk that’s designed to make them that way. The inclusion of growth hormones and antibiotics – being used for economic not health reasons – is making cow’s milk an even worse choice for humans.
Also, cow’s milk contains casein as its form of protein, while human milk contains albumin. Like wheat, casein crosses the brain/blood barrier and creates an opiate called caseo-morphine. So it creates the same cravings as wheat, with many of the same negative health effects. It also will make it tough to quit… but worth it.
Additionally, many people are allergic to cow’s milk and don’t even realize it. You might discover you are one of them. Digestive issues you think are ‘normal’ may completely clear up when you quit. Same with skin problems, blood sugar irregularity, and many other chronic complaints.
If you can’t quit dairy altogether, at least stick with organic, grass-fed dairy products. Most cows are force fed foods they would not normally eat, which has a negative impact on the cow, the baby calf… and you.
You might also consider switching to goat’s milk – which is more digestible and contains a friendlier form of casein.
No-No #3: Corn, soy or peanuts
I am a big fan of nuts – almonds, cashews and the like. But a peanut is actually not a nut at all… it is a legume. It also:
- is one of the highest allergens out there
- is high in lectins, specialized proteins also found in grains, dairy and plants in the nightshade family, and considered potentially toxic
- contains aflatoxin, a carcinogen that has been shown to cause liver cancer in rats
Soy is another misunderstood food. Considered one of the original “health foods,” it has been taken over by American agro-business… and turned into a hazard. Genetically-modified soybeans now make up 91% of America’s soy production. If you must have soy, find an Asian supermarket that sells non-American soy, which is less likely to be genetically modified.
Corn is another sad story. Sweet ears of summertime corn-on-the-cob may be a favorite childhood memory…but the ways we grow, process and eat corn has changed dramatically in recent years.
Like soy, GMO corn has become abundant. Plus, it has replaced cane sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. And it’s found in an overwhelming number of products, causing a whole host of health problems. These problems include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
But the main reason I’m suggesting you cut it from your diet is because it makes you fat, plain and simple. And while we’re on the topic of unhealthy sweeteners…
No-No #4: Sugar is the Enemy
One of the most pervasive problems with sugar is how much more we consume now than ever before. Get this:
Between the year 1700 and 1800, sugar consumption increased from four pounds a year to 18 pounds a year, per person.
By 1900 that number rose again to 90 pounds per year, per person
Last year the average American consumed 180 pounds of sugar. That’s a half a pound of sugar a day!
Considering that sugar feeds cancer, triggers weight gain and contributes to a host of other health problems, it should be no surprise I’m including this in my recommendation. What is more confusing is why doctors around the country aren’t taking up arms against this sweet, silent killer.
This year, resolve to lower your sugar intake considerably. Use the natural sweetener, Stevia. Or if you do have sugar, make sure it is raw and unprocessed, and eat it with a meal so your body has the fiber to digest it.
Avoid artificial sweeteners at all costs. They include molecules of chlorine and other chemicals that are even worse for your health than sugar.
That might seem like a lot of bad news… but it’s actually good news in disguise. You have the power to change your health status simply by changing your choices at the grocery store.
Speaking of the grocery store, reading labels and identifying foods by their many names can be an art unto itself…and ridiculously time-consuming. Use this guide as a cheat sheet to make shopping faster and easier.
Now, let me take one last minute to discuss what you can and should be eating…
What You Can – and Should – Eat…
Replace what you’re cutting out with as many live, nutrient-dense foods as possible. Eat organic foods more often than not. And yes, incorporate more veggies and fruits. Eating in the right balance is the key.
It’s perfectly fine to keep meat in your diet… but consider using this guideline when you measure your portions: The percentage of meat in your diet should equal the percentage of teeth in your mouth that are made to tear flesh: 12%.
Meat, along with grains and shellfish, are acidic and acidic foods are inflammatory. When you eat these, balance them with less inflammatory, more alkaline foods. This balance between acidic and alkaline foods is an important one I’ll be writing you more about in future issues.
Follow This Last Recommendation and You’ll Never Have to Diet Again
My final recommendation to start the day with a protein-oriented breakfast, and graze throughout the day, making sure your last meal of the day is a full three hours before bedtime. When you don’t eat smaller meals more often, your body thinks it’s in famine and stores fat and calories instead of burning them.
This is why dieting doesn’t and never will work!
It goes against the body’s natural survival mechanisms that have been in place for thousands of years. Try working with your body, and feeding it the right foods, and you’ll never have to worry about dieting again.
Jeffrey Smith, Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality in Hamsters, The Huffington Post, April 20, 2010
USDA, Profiling Food Consumption in America, Chapter 2, Agriculture Fact Book, http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf
out dieting again.