Vegetable Oils: Beware of Common Fats That Are Even More Dangerous Than Trans Fats


Vegetable Oils: Beware of Common Fats That Are Even More Dangerous Than Trans Fats

By Elaine Charles, part 8 in my series on healthy eating

Nina Teicholz is an investigative journalist and author of The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. Nina was one the reporters who initially broke the story on the dangers of trans fats, 10 years ago, in an article for Gourmet magazine.

It received an enormous amount of attention, which eventually led to a contract for a book on trans fats. At the same time, she was working as a restaurant review critic, and the meals she received from the chef were foods she’d never eaten before.

“Liver, creamy sauces, cheeses, red meat – and I found them to be delicious. Rich, earthy textured foods. I also found that I lost this stubborn 10 pounds I had been fighting for the most of my adult life, and my doctor said my cholesterol levels were fine.”

These are the types of foods that are said to be really bad for your health, yet she had the complete opposite experience. As an investigative reporter, she felt compelled to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Along the way, she also discovered that while trans fats are now increasingly on the “outs,” the vegetable oils replacing trans fats may be even more harmful…


How Trans Fats Became the Backbone of the Food Industry

Most edible oil chemists are men, Nina notes, but there was one woman in the field, Mary Enig PhD, who had been warning people about trans fats starting in the late 1970s.

No one was listening to her though, and she was widely regarded as a bit of a crackpot. An independent thinker, Dr. Enig was also a pioneer in educating people—myself included—about the health dangers of unfermented soy.

“Trans fats come about when vegetable oil is hardened,” Nina explains. “Vegetable oils only entered the American food supply in the early 1900s.

Before 1900, American housewives cooked with lard and butter. Then vegetable oils, first in the form of cottonseed oils, came in. The very first hardened vegetable oil product was Crisco, introduced in 1911.

That’s when trans fats, which are produced when you harden oil through hydrogenation, entered the US food supply.”

Hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine quickly became the backbone of the food industry. They ramped up from zero percent of the food supply to seven or eight percent today.

According to Nina, the increase in the amount of vegetable oils we eat is the single biggest increase in any kind of food nutrient over the course of the 20th century.

According to one calculation, we now eat more than 100,000 times more vegetable oils than we did at the beginning of the century. Vegetable oils were virtually nonexistent at the beginning of the century. Now, they make up about 7-8 percent of all calories consumed by the American public.

“Every packaged food—every cookie, cracker, microwave popcorn, frozen food—everything was made with trans fats. And our French fries were fried in them,” she says.

“But it turns out that trans fats – due to the work of Mary Enig (who signaled the alarm) and another researcher whom you’ve interviewed, Fred Kummerow, – they were found to have health problems. They interfered in the basic cellular membrane functioning.”


Trans Fat Harm Was Identified in the 1930s

Indeed, Dr. Fred Kummerow—now nearly 100 years old— realized the hazards of trans fats in the 1950’s, and was the first researcher to publish a paper on it in 1957. He discovered that it’s not cholesterol that causes heart disease, rather the trans fats are to blame.

Still, trans fats didn’t become a major issue in the US until the early 2000s, when it was found that they slightly raise your LDL cholesterol. Since the expert community is so focused on cholesterol to the exclusion of everything else, they started banning trans fats based on that cholesterol effect.

“That was also the reason that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used to finally decide to put trans fats on the food label. They wanted consumers to know that foods contained trans fats because by the late 2000s, they were considered really to be a dangerous kind of fat,” Nina says.

“To me, it’s definitely true that trans fats are not healthy for us. But I’m not sure that they were condemned based on the right reason.”


The Cholesterol Fallacy

In the 1950s, saturated fats were condemned on the basis of them raising your cholesterol. At that time, we had only a primitive understanding of what causes heart disease. But we could measure HDL and LDL cholesterol, and the research community focused in on LDL, which became known as the “bad cholesterol.”

Since then, a large number of clinical trials have shown that LDL cholesterol levels, except in extreme cases, actually are very poor predictors of heart attack risk.

And, as our understanding of biomarkers has evolved over the last 15 years, it turns out there are other biomarkers that far more accurately predict heart risks, such as your LDL particle number.

“But going back to trans fat, it was condemned on the basis of LDL. It seems like the wrong piece of evidence against trans fats. There were plenty of other things that were worrisome about trans fats that make that perhaps not a bad decision, except for one big thing—nobody really thought about what would replace trans fats,” Nina says.


Heated Vegetable Oils Create Harmful Oxidation Byproducts

On a side note, there’s also the issue of glyphosate contamination and genetic engineering that make vegetable oils of today even more hazardous than the earlier varieties. That said, from the very beginning, vegetable oils always had the problem that they were unstable.

When heated, especially to high temperatures, they degrade into oxidation products. More than 100 dangerous oxidation products have been found in a single piece of chicken fried in vegetable oils, Nina says.

“That’s the reason that vegetable oils were hardened to be able to be used in the first place,” she says. “They couldn’t be used simply as oil. Once there was a technology that figured out how to use them just as oils by actually changing the fatty acid structure in oils, vegetable oils in bottles like Wesson Oil and canola oils came to the market, in the 1940s.

But even back then, in a number of animal experiments that were done, there were tremendously worrying results. Animals would get cirrhosis of the liver or enlarged liver. And then when they were eating heated vegetable oils, they would die prematurely.”

So, while trans fats are being recognized as harmful and are  in the process of being completely eliminated, we’re still faced with a huge problem, because restaurants and food service operations are reverting back to using regular vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn, and soy oil) again for frying. But these oils still have the worrisome problem of degrading into toxic oxidation products when heated!


Trans Fats Are Being Replaced with Equally Worrisome Oil Products

The latest issue of Wise Traditions, the Weston Price journal, has a great article that is an excerpt from her book, in which she discusses this topic. Most of you reading this are now well aware of the dangers of trans fats, and that the FDA is in the process of banning them completely. That’s great news, but the question is, what is trans fat being replaced with? The answer is that the oils they’re currently using in lieu of trans fats create toxic oxidation products, which in fact may be more toxic than trans fat.

“I stumbled on this topic because a vice president of Loders Croklaan, a big fats and oils producer, said to me, ‘I just heard this terrifying talk by a man in a company who does all the cleaning for fast food restaurants.’… He said they have been having problems since restaurants started getting rid of trans fats in their fryers around 2007… The new oils were building up gunk in the drains and on the walls.

This kind of gunk would harden, and workers would scrape for days and not be able to get it off. The conventional cleaners didn’t work anymore. It’s turning out to be these highly volatile airborne chemicals. When the restaurants’ uniforms would be cleaned, the chemicals were so volatile that they would have problems of piles of uniforms spontaneously combusting in the back of trucks. And then they would go to the dryers. The heat of the dryers, even after the restaurant uniforms were cleaned, would cause fires.”

The cleaning company ended up producing a more potent chemical cleaner to scrub off the polymers off the walls and uniforms. Unfortunately, the nutrition community is not studying these volatile vegetable oils. Others, primarily in the molecular biology and genetics fields are, but the different fields are not communicating with each other.


Even Low Levels of Aldehydes Cause Massive Inflammation

One group in Taiwan is studying this issue because women have much higher rates of lung cancer than men. They think it may be related to the fact that women, particularly in Asian countries, stir-fry in unventilated spaces using vegetable oils. In Norway, there’s another research group trying to assess the effects on worker health in restaurants.

“[These volatile compounds] are very hard to study because they are very ephemeral, literally changing from one second to the next…They’re very unstable. They’re hard to isolate,” Nina explains. “One thing they did was simply to show that these products exist.  There’s a whole category called aldehydes, which are particularly worrisome.

A group doing research on animals have found that at fairly low levels of exposure, these aldehydes in animals caused tremendous inflammation, which is related to heart disease. They oxidized LDL cholesterol, which is thought to be the LDL cholesterol that becomes dangerous. There’s a link to heart disease. There’s also some evidence that links these aldehydes in particular to Alzheimer’s. They seem to have a very severe effect on the body.”

One researcher has found that aldehydes cause toxic shock in animals through gastric damage. We now know a lot more about the role your gut plays in your health, and the idea that aldehydes from heated vegetable oils can damage your gastric system is frighteningly consistent with the rise we see in immune problems and gastrointestinal-related diseases.

“When the FDA got rid of trans fats… restaurants began to use these regular liquid oils instead… they were the cheapest possible option to use… The FDA really did not consider any of this literature about these oxidation products. When you implement a law, you’re supposed to look at the risks. What will happen if you implement a new regulation? In this case, the FDA did not,” Nina says.

In hearing this, it appears as though cooking with vegetable oil could be a “new” occupational hazard (having occurred within the last 10 years or so) for restaurant workers. If vegetable oils volatize and gum up into polymers that are nearly impossible to clean, and that are damaging fryers, equipment, and causing uniforms to spontaneously combust, what is it doing to the workers’ lungs? Larger fast food chains are aware of this issue, and have implemented a number of fixes to address it. But smaller restaurants may be unaware of this problem, thereby placing workers at potential risk. The same applies if you’re regularly cooking with vegetable oils in your home.


Saturated Fats Are Stable, and Therefore Ideal for Cooking

Tallow is a hard fat that comes from cows. Lard is a hard fat that comes from pigs. They’re both animal fats, and used to be the main fats used in cooking. One of their benefits is that, since they’re saturated fats, they do not oxidize when heated. And saturated fats do not have double bonds that can react with oxygen; therefore they cannot form dangerous aldehydes or other toxic oxidation products.

“They’re solids at room temperature. That’s why they make great cooking fats and have always made great cooking fats. But we don’t think about that. This whole chain of events has happened because we demonized saturated fats,” Nina notes.

Fortunately, we’re now seeing cracks in the prevailing dogma about saturated fats. In March of this year, a groundbreaking meta-analysis reviewed the clinical trial evidence and the epidemiological evidence, and came to the conclusion that saturated fats really cannot be said to cause heart disease. Another meta-analysis three years earlier came to the same conclusion.


Saturated Fat – It Does a Body Good…

The benefits of saturated fat are many. Some appear to be uniquely traceable to saturated fat. For example, you need saturated fats for brain and immune system health. Another argument is that animal foods in general, including meat cheese, butter, dairy, and eggs, contain high amounts of vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, and you have to have the fat that comes naturally in animal foods along with the vitamins in order to absorb those vitamins.

“If you’re drinking skim milk, you don’t have the fat you need to absorb the vitamins in milk. Without absorbing the vitamins, you can’t absorb the minerals. These are uniquely nutrient-dense foods. Vitamin B6 and B12, you can’t get in plant foods. They’re really nutrient-dense foods that come packaged in the fat that you need to absorb them, along with protein. They’re kind of a perfect package of nutrient-dense food,” Nina says.

Nina also points out that many clinical trials over the past decade have clearly showed that a diet higher in fat and restricted in carbohydrate results in health improvements such as weight loss and a reduction in risk factors for diabetes, and heart disease. A high-fat diet typically means eating animal foods. Of course, there are very healthy saturated plant fats as well—coconut oil and palm oil, specifically. (Avocado, another healthy fat, is unsaturated.)

“[Coconut and palm oil] have been used for millennia in Asian cultures. They are making a big comeback in part because vegans who don’t want to eat animal products have found that they still need a fat for cooking that doesn’t oxidize when it’s heated… Coconut oil fills that function. In the food industry, they’ve started to bring back palm oil, which has a lot of saturated fat in it and is a good way to make food that lasts long on a shelf, because again, saturated fats are more stable and long-lasting.”


Healthy Eating Guidelines for the 21st Century

So, what’s the general 21st century revised rule for healthy living and eating? One of the most important points is that you do not need to avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats were unfairly condemned in the 1950s based on very primitive evidence that has since been re-analyzed. The evidence now clearly shows that saturated fats do not cause heart disease. Moreover, your body needs saturated fats for proper function of your:

  • Cell membranes
  • Liver
  • Immune system
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Satiery (reducing hunger)
  • Bones (to assimilate calcium)
  • Hormones
  • Genetic regulation

“Another key piece of information is that a high-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet looks healthier for losing weight, and making your heart disease biomarkers and diabetes biomarkers look better. There’s a real range in how much carbohydrates people will tolerate,” Nina says.

Many people need to increase the healthful fat in their diet to 50-85 percent of daily calories. This includes not only saturated fat but also monounsaturated fats (from avocados and nuts) and omega-3 fats. When it comes to cooking fats, few compare to tallow and lard in terms of health benefits and safety. These are the cooking fats that were originally used, and they’re excellent frying fats.

The Battle for GMO Transparency


The Battle for GMO Transparency

By Elaine Charles, part 7 in my series on healthy eating

Twenty-two years ago, on February 4th, Monsanto’s bovine growth hormone (BGH) was forced onto the market despite complaints from consumers and scientists warning that this technology is inherently dangerous.

“Despite the fact that consumers said they wanted labeling and independent safety testing, they just rammed it on through,” Ronnie Cummins, founder of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA)says.

“Here we are, 22 years later, [and] a large percentage of our farmlands and our foods in the United States now contain genetically engineered or genetically modified ingredients — 75 percent of all supermarket foods.

We’ve had an interesting 20-year battle with consumers asserting their right to know; their right to choose.”


If Lying Were Illegal, We’d Have GMO Labeling Already

It really heated up in 2012 when OCA, Dr. Bronner’s and a number of  allies began putting GMO Labeling initiatives on state ballots. California was the first, followed by Washington in 2013 and Oregon in 2014.

They came very close to winning all those state ballots, despite food and biotech companies outspending them many times over, pouring tens of millions of dollars into their anti-labeling campaigns.

Had lying to voters been illegal during those campaigns, there’s little doubt they would have won. During the 2012 campaign, the industry was caught misrepresenting academic affiliations, misusing federal seal of the FDA, and falsely quoting the agency in a mailer sent to voters.

The attorney general in Washington State also indicted The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) for carrying out an illegal money-laundering scheme to protect the identity of members who donated funds to the opposing campaign in 2013.

As explained by Ronnie:

“The Big Food companies had become so worried about consumer backlash by 2013 that they no longer were willing to go public with their donations to stop GMO labeling.

They set up a front group and laundered the money illegally and they got caught. Hopefully, they’re going to have to pay millions and millions of dollars in penalties.

But the thing they really hate the most is that we beat them in the court of public opinion. We educated a critical mass of American consumers about the hazards of GMOs and the chemical toxins — the pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides — that always accompany them.

We’ve alerted the public to the dangers of GMO-derived foods, and the public have stood up and even the corporate media and the indentured politicians in Washington have had to listen.”


GMO Labeling ‘War” Heated Up Several Notches After Vermont’s Success

In May 2014, Vermont passed a law requiring GMO ingredients to be labeled when sold in the state. The industry took the case to court, but the federal district court upheld the constitutionality of Vermont’s law.

The court also noted that under our federal system, states do have the right to pass laws about food safety or food labeling when the federal government has no policy. Ever since then, industry concerns have mounted to new heights, as have their efforts to squelch further labeling efforts once and for all.

“In July 2015, they managed to pass a law in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Pompeo Bill [aka the DARK Act, or Deny Americans the Right to Know], which was totally outrageous.

It basically said, ‘Hey, it doesn’t matter that 90 percent of consumers want to know if there are GMOs in their food. It doesn’t matter if we’ve had a hundred-year tradition of states being able to pass food labeling laws.

We’re going to squelch all that, because Monsanto, Coca-Cola, and the rest don’t want you to know.’ They rammed through that bill,” Ronnie says.

The House of Representatives’ passing of the DARK Act provoked hundreds of thousands of phone calls, emails, and visits with congressional representatives all over the country. As a consequence, the U.S. Senate got cold feet, and didn’t take up the bill in 2015.


Industry Proposes Unworkable ‘Compromise’

In face of that failure, the food industry set up closed-door meetings with consumer organizations in an effort to reach a compromise. Naturally,  the OCA or their allies were invited, as labeling opponents they’re not willing to compromise on your right to know what’s in your food, and your right to choice.

They did get a handful of people to meet with them though. The proposed compromise to mandatory labeling was to use so-called QR or smart codes on food packages.

By scanning the QR code using your smartphone, you could then look up information about the food on the brand’s website.

Few consumers fell for this ruse, and polls show 90 percent of American consumers want clear labels on food packages, NOT user-unfriendly smart codes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that a compromise with the consumer groups could not be reached.


Campbell’s Soup Company Breaks Rank

Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1, 2016 and food companies are undoubtedly on edge about the fact that some 40,000 or 50,000 food products will have to bear the “contain genetically engineered ingredients” label or be reformulated.

Campbell’s Soup Company broke ranks with the GMA and the rest of the food industry a few weeks ago when the company announced it will comply with the Vermont law. Campbell’s executives also said they will remove GMOs from certain products. Moreover, Campbell’s confirmed that food prices will remain unchanged.

It doesn’t cost anything extra to add a few words to the label. The past argument that GMO labeling would result in a $500 price hike for the average American family was, and is, completely FALSE. Whole Foods Market has also announced that by 2018, any GE product sold in its stores will have a GMO label.

“The rest of the food industry cried out that Campbell’s had stabbed them in the back. Although a couple of them like Hershey’s, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Cheerios, Ben and Jerry’s, and then some restaurant chains like Panera and Chipotle had already said, ‘We’re getting GMOs out of our products.’ Then, of course, some of them have started buying up as many organic brands as they can,” Ronnie says.

“Basically, the Big Food industry is in disarray. They want this issue to go away because, according to Fortune magazine, they lost $4 billion last year. Consumers are mad at them; not only for having GMOs in their products, but for trying to conceal that.

Consumers are starting to say, ‘How come they took out all their GMOs in the European Union, but in the United States, they haven’t taken them out and they don’t want us to know?…

I think when we look at all these food companies, like Kraft, who are taking artificial colors and synthetic chemicals out of even their non-organic products, and buying up every organic brand they can buy, we’re seeing a change. American consumers are starting to not only take control of their health but take control of their food and their diets.

The food companies, the chemical companies, and Monsanto could ignore this for a while, but they can’t ignore it anymore.”


Besides GMOs, What Else Is the Food Industry Hiding From You?

The food and biotechnology industries have fought hard to prevent you from knowing there are GE ingredients in your food. So what else are they trying to keep you in the dark about? For starters, they don’t want you to know that some 95 percent of your meat and animal products come from animals that are fed GE grains, are drugged, and raised under horrific living conditions in feedlots and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

“We need to demand the right to know which of our meat and animal products come out of factory farms,” Ronnie says. “The next stage in this food fight to know what we’re eating and to be able to choose what’s healthy, sustainable, and humane, is to think a little bit more about meat, dairy, and eggs.”

Let’s also not forget that most Americans are spending half of our food dollars eating in restaurants … Does the menu really tell you very much? No. You have to become not just a passive consumer. Ask that waiter ‘Is this farmed salmon or is this wild-caught Alaskan salmon? You got this hamburger on the menu. Is this grass-fed? Does it come from a local or regional farmer,’ and so on.

There exists this conversation and this food fight into the other sectors of food and farming economy, which are huge. One of them is meat and animal products, the other are restaurants … Let’s think before we pull out our wallets. Let’s look more closely at these menus and labels. Let’s exercise our right. It is a right to take control of our health and of our food.”

Let’s also not forget the issue of pesticides. Since the introduction of Roundup in 1974, 1.8 million tons of it has been sprayed on U.S. crops alone. Worldwide, nearly 10 million tons of glyphosate has been used. It’s the most commonly used chemical in agriculture in the history of mankind.

This is truly outrageous when you consider that Monsanto deceived us yet again with this product. It’s neither biodegradable nor safe. Instead, research shows it’s a carcinogen. It also destroys critically important soil microbes, which has led to a reduction in food quality. We really need to double down  and eliminate this toxic assault, not just to protect ourselves, but also to protect the environment.


Get Ready for Biggest Food Boycott Ever, Lest Food Industry Backs Down

Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect this July. The GMA and its members, including Monsanto (which alone employs 300 attorneys), are appealing the federal district court decision to the circuit court. Ronnie is confident Vermont will prevail, but it’s certainly possible that some of the circuit court judges might not look at the fact in the same way the first judge did.

Even the food industry recognizes they may lose, which is why they’re pressuring the Senate to block all further attempts to label GMOs.

“The Senate Ag committee has a guy, Pat Roberts, from Kansas, who’s never seen a pesticide he didn’t love. He’s never seen a factory farm he didn’t love. He’s never seen a big check from special interests that he didn’t love to put in his bank account.

Even Roberts has said, ‘I’m not sure we can pass this [denial of consumer right to know] in the Senate’ … They’re going to try, perhaps until the last minute. But I think what it looks like at this point is that we can prevail.

If we don’t — if the Senate dares to ram through a bill in the last minute to take away the right of consumers to know what’s in their food, and the right of states … then we have a surprise for them. That 4 billion dollars that they lost from their bottom line last year is going to get a lot bigger, because you can’t just slap consumers around anymore.

We’re preparing a great boycott of all the GMA companies and all their brands if they dare to preempt Vermont at the last minute. But chances are they’re making plans. They’ve already decided like Campbell’s to throw in the towel. They’re going to either have labels on their products or they’re going to have to reformulate it.” Ronnie says.

Remember, every time you pull out your wallet, you cast your vote for the kind of food system you want, and that terrifies the food industry. They know they survive or perish at the hand of consumers, which is the reason for all this lack of transparency. Up until recently, most people were simply too uninformed to ditch their brands for something better. This is rapidly changing, and as it does, the status quo can no longer prevail. The food industry must change or die.

Hopefully, they will decide to not only stop fighting with regards to labeling, but also to take a long, hard look at the food they’re serving to kids in schools, old folks’ homes, retirement centers, corporate cafeterias, and veterans’ hospitals.

Our health care system simply cannot bear all of this diet-induced disease. “If they don’t, well, we’ll just make the organic and grass-fed industry and the natural health industry grow faster than ever,” Ronnie says.


Other Big Plans in Store to Inform and Protect Your Health

The OCA has hired legal help to draft new bills that require factory farmed foods to be labeled as such, and they’ve talked to several legislators across the country. So far, no one has agreed to support such a bill. In fact, as Ronnie says, they’re all “scared to death” of such legislation.

The factory farm industry, the drug companies that supply them with drugs, the genetic engineering and agribusiness centers that supply them with feed — these industries are massive, and they wield a lot of power.

“So far, we haven’t gotten any headway in states like Vermont, Wisconsin, or Maine where we’ve tried to talk about this,” Ronnie says.”But we think there’s another way that we can inform consumers about what’s in their factory-farmed foods.

What we started doing over the last year is try to send in some samples of milk, meat, and dairy products to labs to test for GMO DNA … animal drug residues … pesticide, fungicide, or herbicide residues, and/or their breakdown compounds (metabolites).” Ronnie says.

One major problem they encountered was that few labs were willing to work with them. To remedy this situation, the Natural Health Association and other groups, have joined forces with the OCA to set up our own independent laboratory. They’re also investigating labs around the world that might be willing to be objective.

“The industry likes to say, ‘Organic and grass-fed are not worth the extra money and that it’s all just hype. The Organic Consumers Association wants to take more of your hard-earned money to get you to spend it on organic or grass-fed when it’s not really necessary’ … [W]e will get rigorous scientific testing done, and then we will explain to the public, ‘Here’s what’s in your food. Here’s in what’s in your kid’s food,’ Ronnie says.


Taking Pesticides and Animal Drugs to Task

The agricultural industry uses some 20,000 different pesticides, many of which — despite being legal to use — act as hormone or endocrine disruptors. As explained by André Leu, author of “The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” pesticides pose a significant health threat even in minute amounts. Research also shows that the synergistic action between various chemicals typically makes them FAR more toxic in combination than individually.

“People are not paying attention to the fact that the most commonly used herbicide in America on corn is not even Roundup; it’s atrazine. How come atrazine is banned in the European Union and most industrialized countries?” Ronnie says.

“It’s very clear: It’s carcinogenic. It makes frogs develop extra legs. It turns male fish into female fish with eggs. It does damage to you when you drink that tap water or when you eat that food that’s got the atrazine residue.

We’ve got to keep educating people about GMOs. But the next stage in this food safety campaign is the toxic pesticides that always accompany them. We can add (when we’re talking about meat and animal products) the animal drugs that always accompany them.

Once we win consumers’ right to know what’s in their food, including the pesticides and the animal drugs, the big companies are going to stop using these things, and the organic and the grass fed sector will become what it used to be before the Second World War — the dominant part of our food and farming system.”

Creating Synergy Between Organic Food and natural Health

We’ve made great headway, but there’s clearly a lot more to be done. Ronnie and I personally thank you for everything you’ve done to further this cause, and hope you stick with us as we move forward. I strongly encourage you to give OCA your financial support, because we are making a difference.

Food companies have to start being honest and truthful in telling us what’s in our food, and we will not quit until they do. We can’t do it alone, however. We need your help, and this week, you can double the impact of your donation, as I will match each and every dollar you donate to the OCA.


In closing, Ronnie notes:

“The most encouraging thing about in the United States and North America these days is that we’ve got a hundred million people occasionally buying organic and grass-fed food products. A lot of them are buying them more than occasionally. That’s why we have this 55-billion-dollar industry of organic, non-GMO, and grass-fed.

But we also have a hundred million natural health consumers out there who are taking control of their health, who are at least occasionally buying supplements and visiting alternative practitioners. My big dream for 2016 is to create an even greater synergy between the organic consumers and the natural health consumers, because we live in a world where we need both organic food and grass-fed food, and natural.”


The Truth About Sugar


The Truth About Sugar

By Elaine Charles, part 6 in my series on healthy eating

“The Truth About Sugar” a BBC production features Cara Patterson, Rick Shabilla, Audrey Cannon, and Simon Gallagher, who between them consume nearly 120 teaspoons of sugar a day.

Refined sugar has become a dietary staple in most developed nations, and many are at a loss as to how to avoid this pernicious ingredient, which can be found in virtually every processed food — typically in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

High-sugar diets are undoubtedly the primary culprit in skyrocketing obesity and type 2 diabetes rates and other chronic health problems associated with insulin resistance.

For example, according to recent research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015, obese children as young as 8 now display signs of heart disease, and excessive sugar consumption right from birth on is at the root of this trend.


Cutting out Sugar Is One of the Easiest and Fastest Ways to Improve Your Health

“The Truth About Sugar” which aired on BBC One, aims to “demystify some of the myths about sugar — namely, what food products secretly contain it — and demonstrate the impact it can make on your health if you reduce the amount you eat.”

Recent research has revealed that cutting out added sugars can improve biomarkers associated with health in as little as 10 days — even when overall calorie count and percentage of carbohydrates remains the same.

The study, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist who has long argued that added sugar is toxic when consumed in too-high amounts, reduced the amount of added sugars from an average of 27 percent of daily calories down to about 10 percent.

This is in line with the most recent recommendations by the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, issued in February.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also proposed adding “added sugar” to the Nutrition Facts panel on processed foods, set at 10 percent of total energy intake for a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet.

Dr. Lustig’s research suggests such a labeling addition could potentially make a big difference in people’s health, provided they read food labels.


Sugar Is Disguised Under Many Names

Many are simply unaware of just how much sugar they’re consuming. Added sugar oftentimes hides under other less familiar names, such as dextrose, maltose, galactose, and maltodextrin, for example.

According to added sugars hide in 74 percent of processed foods under more than 61 different names. For a full list, see ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’.

Misled by shrewd advertisers, many are also still unaware of how too much sugar can disrupt your health and well-being. As previously reported by The New York Times:

“The scientists who started say they have reviewed 8,000 independent clinical research articles on sugar and its role in metabolic conditions that are some of the leading killers of Americans, like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and liver disease.

The link between sugar and chronic disease has attracted increasing scientific scrutiny in recent years. But many studies have provided conflicting conclusions, and experts say part of the reason is that biased studies have clouded the debate.”


Industry Front Groups Work to Keep Sugar Hazards Secret

Indeed, the sugar-processed food and beverage industries have fought hard to hide and downplay the health hazards associated with sugar. Large sums of money have been spent to this end, and scientific integrity has been tossed by the wayside in order to convince you that sugar belongs in your diet.

Weight problems, they say, are due to inactivity — not excessive sugar consumption. The Global Energy Balance Network is one front group peddling this misinformation, originally funded with millions of dollars by none other than Coca-Cola.

But progress is being made due to all the public exposure and negative press, the Global Energy Network was shut down.

It was to counter profit-driven industry interests that was created. Run by dozens of scientists at three American universities, this educational website makes independent research available to the public, so if you want the real scoop on what sugar does to your health, this is the place to look.


Refined Sugar Is All Energy and No Nutrition

When we talk about sugar, we’re really including ALL sugars, including honey, agave, table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and the natural fructose found in fresh-pressed fruit juice and whole fruits.

However, refined sugar and processed fructose are two of the worst, with fructose having even worse health impacts than refined sugar. In the film, biologist Marty Jopson, Ph.D., explains what makes refined sugar so unhealthy.

Sugar cane and sugar beets are used in sugar production, as these plants have high concentrations of sugar. The refining process further increases that sugar concentration.

Since all the fiber, roughage, and most of the water is removed, what’s left — the refined sugar — is nothing but empty calories (pure energy), completely devoid of nutrition. Should you fail to use up all these calories through physical activity, it will inevitably be stored as fat. And that’s the problem with eating some 30 teaspoons or more of refined sugar a day. You simply cannot burn it all!

For example, to burn off the calories from one Snickers bar you’d have to walk about five miles, and to offset a one-soda-per-day habit — equivalent to about 10 teaspoons of sugar — you have to walk one hour per day just to prevent additional weight gain.

But it’s not just candy, pastries and soda that are loaded with added sugars. Savory foods contain it as well. As do most, if not all condiments, and even infant formula and baby food.


How Much Sugar Do You Eat Each Day?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know the exact answer to that question, and the reason for this is because it’s in virtually all processed food products, including products you would never suspect would have added sugar in it.

For example, the film mentions that a serving of Pad Thai noodles contains 9.5 teaspoons of sugar; a package of sweet and sour chicken with rice contains 12.5 teaspoons (more than a can of soda); and a can of baked beans contains 6 teaspoons of sugar — which, remember, would ideally be your grand total for the day!

The film goes on to discuss the science of addictive foods, and how food manufacturers employ scientists to determine the precise “bliss point” of each food, be it tomato sauce or chips. This “bliss point” is achieved through combinations of sugar, salt, and fat, plus proprietary additives and flavorings.

One question raised is: were food manufacturers to take sugar out of their foods completely, would we still buy them? The answer is likely no, because without all these flavor additives, of which sugar is more or less essential, many processed foods would be unpalatable, as the processing removes much of the natural flavors.

This is a problem relegated to the processed food industry. You don’t really have this problem when you’re cooking from scratch with whole foods, which are packed with natural flavors. Then all you need is seasoning. Rarely, if ever would you consider adding several teaspoons of sugar to a home-cooked meal!


How Quickly Can a High-Sugar Diet Pack on Unwanted Pounds?

So, just how quickly can a high sugar diet like this pack on extra pounds? To use Dr. Jopson’s example, let’s say you drink 3 cups of tea or coffee per day, and you add 2 teaspoons of sugar to each cup. Let’s also assume that you’re not burning off that extra sugar due to a sit-down job and leisure time inactivity. At the end of one year, that sugar (6 teaspoons a day), would turn into a whopping 4.5 kilos, or 9.9 pounds, of body fat.

When you consider that most consume five or six times more sugar than that each day, it’s easy to see how obesity has become more the norm than the exception. One of the volunteers featured in “The Truth About Sugar” had a body fat percentage of 51, and that’s not unusual these days. A body fat percentage of 32 and over is considered obese for women, and anything above 25 percent falls in the obese category for men.


What to Do If Your Body Fat Percentage Is Too High

It’s important to realize that the benefits of reducing belly fat go far beyond aesthetics. Abdominal fat — the visceral fat that deposits around your internal organs — releases proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, affecting how your body breaks down sugars and fats.

The chronic inflammation associated with visceral fat accumulation can trigger a wide range of systemic diseases linked with metabolic syndrome. This is why carrying extra weight around your middle is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and other chronic diseases, and why measuring your waist-to-hip ratio is actually a better indicator of your health status than body mass index (BMI).

For the majority of people, severely restricting carbohydrates such as sugars, fructose, and grains in your diet will be the key to weight loss. Refined carbohydrates like breakfast cereals, bagels, waffles, pretzels, and most other processed foods will raise your insulin levels and, over time, cause insulin resistance, which is the No. 1 underlying factor of nearly every chronic disease and condition known to man, including weight gain.

If you’re currently drinking soda, other sweetened beverages, or fruit juices on a daily basis, you may want to start by eliminating those, and work your way through the rest of your food choices from there. The only beverage your body truly needs is clean, pure water.

As you cut the sugars from your diet, you need to replace them with healthy substitutes like vegetables and healthy fats (including natural saturated fats). You can find a detailed a step-by-step guide to this type of healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan, and I urge you to consult this guide if you are trying to lose weight.

Remember, one of the simplest guidelines to shedding excess weight is to EAT REAL FOOD, meaning food in the most natural form you can find, ideally whole organic produce, and pasture-raised when it comes to meats and animal products like dairy and eggs.

Intermittent fasting can further boost weight loss, as it:

  •    Increases secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone
  •    Increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure
  •    Decreases insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity
  •    Increases ghrelin, aka “the hunger hormone,” thereby reducing overeating
  •    Shifts your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel


Sugar Addiction Is Real

The film also addresses the very real phenomenon of sugar addiction. Previous research has demonstrated that sugar is more addictive than cocaine.

And, as revealed in my interview with Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of The New York Times bestseller, “The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction,” refined and processed “hyperpalatables” (sugary, fatty, and salty food combinations) hijack the reward center in your brain, causing brain changes identical to those in drug addicts and alcoholics.

A critical player in all forms of addiction, including food addiction, is the neurotransmitter dopamine. Groundbreaking research into addiction has revealed that you will not feel pleasure or reward unless dopamine binds with its receptor, called the D2 receptor, which is located all throughout the reward center in your brain. When dopamine links to this receptor, immediate changes take place in brain cells and then you experience a “hit” of pleasure and reward.

However, when you indulge in too much of these hyper-stimulators, your brain’s reward center notes that you’re overstimulated, which the brain perceives as adverse to survival, and so it compensates by decreasing your sense of pleasure and reward. It does this by downregulating your D2 receptors, basically eliminating some of them.

But this survival strategy creates another problem, because now you don’t feel anywhere near the pleasure and reward you once had when you began your addiction, no matter whether it’s food or drugs. As a result, you develop tolerance which means that you want more and more of your fix but never achieve the same “high” you once had. And so, cravings grow stronger.


Breaking Sugar Addiction

Fortunately, there are solutions to unhealthy junk food cravings. One of the most effective strategies I know of is intermittent fasting — mentioned above — along with diet modifications that effectively help reset your body’s metabolism, i.e. replacing sugars and non-vegetable carbs with vegetables and healthy fats.

Intermittent fasting will help you reduce your calorie intake and help your liver to produce healing ketones. When sugar is not needed for your primary fuel and when your sugar stores run low, your body will crave it less.

Another helpful technique, which addresses the emotional component of food cravings, is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). If you maintain negative thoughts and feelings about yourself while trying to take physical steps to improve your body, you’re unlikely to succeed. Fine-tuning your brain to “positive” mode is absolutely imperative to achieve optimal physical health.

Unfortunately, many people shun this notion, not because it doesn’t make sense, but because the medical establishment has conned them into believing that it means they’ll be shelling out many thousands of dollars for traditional psychological care.

While traditional psychological approaches may sometimes work, EFT has shown to be a far better, not to mention inexpensive, solution. If you feel that your emotions, or your own self-image, may be your own worst enemies when it comes to altering your relationship with food, I highly recommend you read my free EFT manual and consider trying EFT on your own. A version of EFT specifically geared toward combating sugar cravings is called Turbo Tapping.

Eating REAL Food Is the Answer (see the blog Top 7 Nutrient-Dense Foods)

The concerted effort by the processed food industry to make their products as addictive as possible has the unfortunate side effect of stimulating your metabolism to burn carbs as its primary fuel. As long as you are in primary carb-burning mode, you will strongly crave these types of foods.

The solution is to decrease the amount of processed foods you eat, and replace them with real foods, i.e. high-quality whole foods. Also remember that non-vegetable carbs need to be replaced with healthy fats to successfully achieve this metabolic switchover.

Again, intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to end junk food cravings, especially cravings for sugar and grains. No matter how cleverly enhanced these junk foods are, your cravings for them will dramatically diminish, if not vanish altogether, once your body starts burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel.

To protect your health, I recommend spending 90 percent of your food budget on whole foods, and only 10 percent or less on processed foods. Unfortunately, most Americans currently do the opposite, which is in large part why so many struggle with junk food cravings. Remember, virtually ALL processed foods are to some degree designed to have a high “craveability” factor, and it’s really difficult to find products that do not contain high amounts of addictive sugar and carbs.

Two Meals a Day Is Ideal, But Which Two Is Up to You



Two Meals a Day Is Ideal, But Which Two Is Up to You

By Elaine Charles, part 5 in my series on healthy eating

How many meals a day is ideal? There are many answers to this question, but if you want to optimize your lifespan and decrease your risk for developing chronic degenerative diseases, the answer is becoming very clear.

The longstanding conventional answer is that most people need three square meals a day with snacks in between to maintain stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

However, there’s compelling evidence suggesting this near-continuous grazing may be partially to blame for the obesity and diabetes epidemic.

The most obvious risk with spreading out your meals to morning, noon, and evening is overeating. Other less obvious risks are biological changes that result in metabolic dysfunction, subsequent weight gain, and diminished health.

This blog is for individuals who DO NOT have insulin resistance. I will cover that topic next week.


The Case Against Eating Multiple Meals a Day

According to Dr. Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California, where he studies meal timing and calorie restriction, even three meals a day may be too much.

Based on his research, he’s convinced the fewer meals you eat, the better you’ll fare overall. As reported by Time Magazine:

“Longo says studies that support a grazing approach tend to be flawed in predictable ways. They often look only at the short-term effects of increasing meal frequency.

While your appetite, metabolism, and blood sugar might at first improve, your system will grow accustomed to your new eating schedule after a month or two. When that happens, your body will start expecting and craving food all day long instead of only around midday or dinnertime.”


Eat Breakfast or Dinner, but Not Both…

While I’m still convinced that intermittent fasting is an important strategy for effective weight loss and disease prevention, it likely doesn’t matter which meal you skip — breakfast or dinner — as long as you skip one of them.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are:

  •    Increases secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), a fat-burning hormone
  •    Increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure
  •    Decreases insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity
  •    Increases ghrelin, aka “the hunger hormone,” thereby reducing overeating
  •    Shifts your body from burning sugar to burning fat as its primary fuel

If you have a physically taxing job, you are likely better off eating a solid breakfast and lunch, and then skipping dinner. The key to remember is to only eat within a window of six to eight consecutive hours each day, and avoiding food for at least three hours before bedtime.

As long as you restrict your eating to this window, you can choose between having breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner, but avoid having both breakfast and dinner.

If you chose to eat dinner, it’s important to avoid eating for at least three hours before going to bed.

This is another important factor that can help optimize your mitochondrial function and prevent cellular damage from occurring, which will be in the next segment.

That said, none of this probably applies to normal weight teens or growing children. They likely need three square meals a day unless they’re overweight. For kids and teens, the type of food they eat would be a primary consideration.

Ideally, all of their meals would revolve around eating REAL FOOD — not processed foods, fast food, and sugary snacks. Drinking plenty of pure water and avoiding sugary beverages is another key consideration.


The Benefits of Avoiding Late-Night Eating

If you want to live a long healthy life and avoid chronic degenerative diseases then it’s important to have a minimum of three hours after your last food intake before you go to bed.

This is due to the way your body produces energy. Many don’t realize that your mitochondria are responsible for “burning” the fuel your body consumes and converting into usable energy.

These tiny bacterial derivatives live inside your cell and are optimized to create energy from the food you eat and the oxygen in the air you breathe. Your cells have between 100 and 100,000 mitochondria.

Your mitochondria create energy by generating electrons that are normally transferred to ATP (adenosine triphosphate). When you don’t have insulin resistance this energy transfer works quite nicely, but when you are insulin resistant or you eat excessively, dysfunctions tend to emerge.

If you consume more calories than your body can immediately use, there will be an excess of free electrons, which back up inside your mitochondria.

These electrons are highly reactive and they start to leak out of the electron transport chain in the mitochondria. These excess electrons leak out and wind up prematurely killing the mitochondria, and then wreak further havoc by damaging your cell membranes and contributing to DNA mutations.

There are many knowledgeable experts that believe this type of mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the keys to accelerated aging.

So how can you apply this knowledge? Simple: resolve your insulin resistance as soon as you can (next week’s blog), and do not eat for AT LEAST three hours before you go to sleep.

Your body will use the least amount of calories when sleeping, so the last thing you need is excess fuel at this time that will generate excessive free radicals that will damage your tissues, accelerate aging, and contribute to chronic disease.

Interestingly, if you have insulin resistance, intermittent fasting is, without a doubt, the most powerful intervention I know of to help you resolve it. This is one of the reasons why I now believe skipping dinner may be an even better strategy than skipping breakfast.

Clearly skipping dinner is more difficult to implement from a social perspective, but it might be a superior biological strategy.


Can Drinking Water Before Meals Help You Lose Weight?

In related news, recent research suggests drinking 500 ml (a little more than two eight-ounce glasses) of water half an hour before your meals may help boost weight loss. Obese participants who “pre-loaded” with water before each meal lost an average of nearly three pounds (close to 1.5 kilos) more than the control group over the course of three months.

All participants, including the control group, received a weight management consultation on how to improve their diet and exercise. Those who ate three meals a day and drank water prior to each meal lost an average of nearly 9.5 pounds (4.3 kilos) in three months.


Calorie Restriction Benefits Your Health

Getting back to intermittent fasting, many studies have confirmed the health benefits of calorie restriction, and it seems clear that eating less is part of the equation if you want to live longer. Interestingly, research has shown that life-long calorie restriction in mice “significantly changes the overall structure of the gut microbiota” in ways that promote longevity. So one reason why calorie restriction may lengthen lifespan appears to be due to the positive effect it has on gut microbiota.

The increase in longevity is also clearly associated with a decrease in disease states that would cut your life short, and calorie restriction is associated with a number of health improvements, including reduced visceral fat, reduced inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improved insulin sensitivity, just to name a few. Earlier research has demonstrated that calorie restriction helps extend the lifespan of animals by improving insulin sensitivity and inhibiting the mTOR pathway.

However, few people are keen on the idea of cutting your daily calories by about 25 percent or more for the rest of your life, and the good news is, you don’t have to.

Research has shown that intermittent fasting results in many of the same benefits as calorie restriction — even if you don’t place any restrictions on the number of calories you consume when you do eat.


Why Intermittent Fasting Is Beneficial Over Calorie Restriction

Intermittent fasting also has a number of added benefits over strict calorie restriction. For starters, it’s a lot easier to comply with, and compliance is everything. The calorie restriction route is also extremely dependent on high quality nutrition — you want to sacrifice calories without sacrificing any important micronutrients — and this can be another hurdle for many who are unfamiliar with nutrition and what actually constitutes a healthy diet.

You also want to avoid the counting calories and calorie restriction fallacies. Most people fail to appreciate that there are many intricate biochemical dynamics that occur that are unaccounted for when you just count “calories in and calories out.”

In terms of calorie restriction and weight, humans also tend to have an innate resistance to excessive weight loss, even in the face of severe calorie restriction. Dr. Ancel Keys demonstrated this in the mid-1940s when he designed an experiment to investigate the impact of starvation on human beings.

Thirty-six young healthy male volunteers were placed on a 24-week calorie-restricted diet of about 1,600 calories per day. They also had to walk for about 45 minutes a day. But instead of resulting in continuous weight loss, at 24 weeks their weight had stabilized, and no more weight loss could be elicited even when he reduced calorie intake down to 1,000 or less per day.

The drawbacks were clear. The men became obsessed with food to the exclusion of everything else in their life, and when the calorie restriction ended, they all over-reacted. Within a few weeks, they regained all of the lost weight plus about 10 percent more. Other studies have come to similar conclusions. So starvation-type diets may not be ideal for the average person. Your body will tend to shut down various processes in order to survive. For example, by reducing thyroid function, your body will not burn as many calories.

All of this may seem hopelessly contradictory. On the one hand, calorie restriction promotes beneficial biological changes that tend to extend life; on the other, there are built in mechanisms that when triggered by chronic calorie restriction can trigger other health problems. These are complex issues, and any extreme measure is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

The best we can do is come up with some general guidelines that replicate ancestral patterns. Daily intermittent fasting and avoiding eating for a number of hours before bedtime has many advantages over general calorie restriction and other radical diets, while providing many of the same benefits with a minimum of risk.


To Lose Fat You Need to Retrain Your Body to Burn Fat for Fuel

When you consistently eat every few hours and never miss a meal, your body becomes very inefficient at burning fat as a fuel, and this is where the trouble starts. It’s important to recognize that, with few exceptions, you cannot burn body fat if you have other fuel available, and if you’re supplying your body with carbohydrates every few hours, your body has no need to dive into your fat stores. When you apply intermittent fasting you not only avoid this but also will typically decrease your food costs and increase your health.

Eating fewer meals and timing those meals to occur closer together is one of the most effective strategies I’ve found to trigger your body to more effectively burn fat for fuel, and normalize your insulin and leptin sensitivity. If you’re not insulin resistant, intermittent fasting is not as crucial, but may still be beneficial.

If you’re among the minority of Americans who do not struggle with insulin resistance, recommendations are to simply avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime. That automatically allows you to “fast” for at least 11 hours or longer depending on if and when you eat breakfast.

Equally important is the recommendation to EAT REAL FOOD when you do eat, meaning food in the most natural form you can find, ideally whole organic produce, and pasture-raised when it comes to meats and animal products like diary and eggs. To that, add avoiding sitting, engaging in non-exercise movement throughout the day, and getting regular exercise. Exercise will not produce significant weight loss without addressing your diet, but when done in combination it can be significantly beneficial.

Sugar Identified as a Top Cause of the Surge in Cancer


Sugar Identified as a Top Cause of the Surge in Cancer

By Elaine Charles, part 4 in my series on healthy eating

According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2013 study “Sugar: Consumption at a Crossroads,” as much as 40 percent of US healthcare expenditures are for diseases directly related to the over-consumption of sugar.

Incredibly, we spend more than $1 trillion each year fighting the damaging health effects of sugar, which runs the gamut from obesity and diabetes, to heart disease and cancer.

The fact that sugar and obesity are linked to an increased risk of cancer is now becoming well-recognized. According to a report on the global cancer burden, published in 2014, obesity is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases worldwide each year.

Nearly two-thirds of obesity-related cancers — which include colon, rectum, ovary, and womb cancers — occur in North America and Europe. A more recent British report estimates obesity may result in an additional 670,000 cancer cases in the UK alone over the next 20 years.

According to BBC News, the Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum report are calling for a ban on junk food ads aired before 9 pm to address out of control rise in obesity and obesity-related diseases.


How Excess Sugar and Obesity Promotes Cancer

One of the key mechanisms by which sugar promotes cancer and other chronic disease is through mitochondrial dysfunction.

Since sugar is not our ideal fuel, it burns dirty with far more reactive oxygen species than fat, which generates far more free radicals which in turn causes mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage along with cell membrane and protein impairment.

Research has also shown that chronic overeating in general has a similar effect. Most people who overeat also tend to eat a lot of sugar-laden foods — a double-whammy in terms of cancer risk.

Chronic overeating places stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the membranous network found inside the mitochondria of your cells. When the ER receives more nutrients than it can process, it signals the cell to dampen the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on the surface of the cell.

Thus continuously eating more than your body really needs promotes insulin resistance by the mere fact that your cells are stressed by the work placed on them by the excess nutrients. Insulin resistance in turn is at the heart of most chronic disease, including cancer.


High-Fructose Corn Syrup Primary Culprit in Cancer

This also helps explain why intermittent fasting (as well as other forms of calorie restriction) is so effective for reversing insulin resistance, reducing your risk of cancer, and increasing longevity.

Obesity, caused by a combination of eating too much refined fructose/sugar and rarely if ever fasting, may also promote cancer via other mechanisms, including chronic inflammation and elevated production of certain hormones, such as estrogen, which is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.

According to recent research, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, refined sugar not only significantly increases your risk of breast cancer, it also raises your risk of tumors spreading to other organs.

Moreover, this study found that it was primarily the refined fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, found in most processed foods and beverages that was responsible for the breast tumors and the metastasis.


Without Sugar, Cancer Cannot Thrive

One of the most powerful strategies I know of to avoid and/or treat cancer is to starve the cancer cells by depriving them of their food source, which is primarily sugar and excessive protein.

Unlike all the other cells in your body, which can burn carbs or fat for fuel, cancer cells have lost that metabolic flexibility and can only thrive if there enough sugar present.

German cancer researcher Dr. Otto Warburg was actually given a Nobel Prize in 1931 for discovering this. Sadly very few experts have embraced his metabolic theory of cancer, but have embraced the nuclear genetic theory that is a downstream side effect of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Make no mistake about it, the FIRST thing you want to do if you want to avoid or treat cancer if you have insulin or leptin resistance (which 85 percent of people do) is to cut out all forms of sugar/fructose and grain carbs from your diet, in order to optimize the signaling pathways that contribute to malignant transformation.


Reduce Your Fructose and Non-Fiber Carb Intake

I recommend reducing your total fructose intake to a maximum of 25 grams/day, from all sources, including fruit. If you are insulin resistant, you’d do well to make your upper limit 15 grams/day.

Cancer patients would likely be best served by even stricter limits. For a more detailed discussion please review my interview with Professor Thomas Seyfried, who is one of the leading cancer pioneer researchers in promoting how to treat cancer nutritionally. I personally believe that most would benefit from reducing all non-fiber carbs (total carbs minus fiber), not just fructose, to less than 100 grams per day.

I typically keep mine around 50 to 60 grams every day.

The easiest way to dramatically cut down on your sugar and fructose consumption is to switch to REAL foods, as most of the added sugar you end up with comes from processed fare, not from adding a teaspoon of sugar to your tea or coffee. But there are other ways to cut down well. This includes:

  • Cutting back on the amount of sugar you personally add to your food and drink
  • Using stevia or luo han instead of sugar and/or artificial sweeteners.
  • Using fresh fruit in lieu of canned fruit or sugar for meals or recipes calling for a bit of sweetness
  • Using spices instead of sugar to add flavor to your meal


Signs of Progress, But Dietary Guidelines Are Still Flawed

The excess consumption of sugar in the U.S. can be directly traced to flawed dietary guidelines and misplaced agricultural subsidies. Progress is being made however, with the 2015 to 2020 U.S. dietary guidelines now recommending limiting your sugar intake to a maximum of 10 percent of your daily calories.

Unfortunately, the dietary guidelines still suggest limiting saturated fat to 10 percent of calories, which is likely far too low for most people. Tragically, it also makes no distinction between healthy saturated fats and decidedly unhealthy trans fats. Saturated fats are actually very important for optimal health, and those with insulin/leptin resistance may need upwards of 50 to 80 percent of their daily calories from healthy fat.

Trans fats, on the other hand, have no redeeming health value, and the evidence suggests there’s no safe limit for trans fats. Besides that glaring flaw, the conundrum with the new guidelines is that both sugar and fat should be limited to 10 percent each of daily calories.

This completely ignores the fact that as you cut out sugar (carbs), you need to replace that lost energy with something else, and that something else is healthy fat, such as that found in avocado, organic seeds and nuts, raw organic butter, cheese, and coconut oil, just to name a few.

They do get a number of things right though. In addition to the recommendation to limit sugar, the limits for dietary cholesterol have been removed, giving the thumbs up for eggs and other cholesterol-rich foods. They also note that most Americans need to reduce the amount of red meat consumed.

As I’ve discussed before, the risks of eating too much protein include an increased risk for cancer, as it can have a stimulating effect on the mTOR pathway, which plays an important role in many diseases, including cancer.

When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps minimize your chances of cancer growth. As a general rule, I recommend limiting your protein to one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass, which for most people amounts to 40 to 70 grams of protein a day.

Fermented Foods: Why they are so beneficial


Fermented Foods: Why they are so beneficial

By Elaine Charles, part 3 in my series on healthy eating

Long before the beneficial bacteria known as probiotics hit store shelves, cultures around the globe have been enjoying the benefits of a microbe-rich diet courtesy of fermented foods.

Thousands of years ago, when fermented foods and beverages were first consumed, the microbial and enzymatic processes responsible for the transformations were largely unknown.

What was known was that fermentation extended the longevity of foods and they came to be valued for their medicinal and nutritive properties. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

“Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation technologies in the world. Indigenous fermented foods such as bread, cheese, and wine, have been prepared and consumed for thousands of years and are strongly linked to culture and tradition, especially in rural households and village communities.

The development of fermentation technologies is lost in the mists of history. Anthropologists have suggested that it was the production of alcohol that motivated primitive people to settle down and become agriculturists. Some even think the consumption of fermented food is pre-human.

The first fermented foods consumed probably were fermented fruits. Hunter-gatherers would have consumed fresh fruits but at times of scarcity would have eaten rotten and fermented fruits. Repeated consumption would have led to the development of the taste for fermented fruits.

There is reliable information that fermented drinks were being produced over 7,000 years ago in Babylon (now Iraq), 5,000 years ago in Egypt, 4,000 years ago in Mexico, and 3,500 years ago in Sudan…

Fermentation of milk started in many places with evidence of fermented products in use in Babylon over 5,000 years ago… China is thought to be the birth-place of fermented vegetables

… Knowledge about traditional fermentation technologies has been handed down from parent to child, for centuries. These fermented products have been adapted over generations; some products and practices no doubt fell by the wayside.

Those that remain today have not only survived the test of time but also more importantly are appropriate to the technical, social, and economic conditions of the region.”


Why Fermented Foods Should Be a Part of Your Diet

In the US, the preparation of fermented foods is a largely lost art, and even in areas where such foods are still widely consumed, there is danger of them being lost. FAO noted:

What they provide is a food source packed with beneficial microorganisms that most people, especially in the US, do not get elsewhere. Many are not aware that your gut houses about 85 percent of your immune system.

This is in large part due to the 100 trillion bacteria that live there, both beneficial and pathogenic, which can stimulate secretory IgA to nourish your immune response.

When your GI tract is not properly balanced, a wide range of health problems can appear, including allergies and autoimmune diseases. In fact, over the past several years, research has revealed that microbes of all kinds — bacteria, fungi, and even viruses — play instrumental roles in the functioning of your body. For example, beneficial bacteria have been shown to:

  • Counteract inflammation and control the growth of disease-causing bacteria
  • Produce vitamins, amino acids (protein precursors), absorb minerals, and eliminate toxins
  • Control asthma and reduce risk of allergies
  • Benefit your mood and mental health
  • Impact your weight

One of the quickest and easiest ways to improve your gut health is via your diet. Beneficial microbes tend to feed on foods that are known to benefit health and vice versa.

Sugar, for example, is a preferred food source for fungi that produce yeast infections and sinusitis, whereas healthy probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables boost populations of health-promoting bacteria, thereby disallowing potentially pathogenic colonies from taking over.


Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are potent chelators (detoxifiers) and contain much higher levels of beneficial bacteria than probiotic supplements, making them ideal for optimizing your gut flora. In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of surprising functions, including:

  • Mineral absorption, and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2 (vitamin K2 and vitamin D are necessary for integrating calcium into your bones and keeping it out of your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke)
  • Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
  • Lowering your risk for cancer
  • Improving your mood and mental health
  • Preventing acne

In the US, imbalances in gut flora are widespread, not only due to high sugar, high-processed food diets, but also due to exposure to antibiotics, both in medicine and via conventionally raised livestock.

The solution is simple – in addition to cutting back on sugar and antibiotics (choose organic foods as much as possible), consuming fermented foods will give your gut health a complete overhaul, helping to clear out pathogenic varieties, and promoting the spread of healing, nourishing microorganisms instead.


9 Tips for Making Fermented Vegetables at Home

You can ferment almost any vegetable, although cucumbers (pickles) and cabbage (sauerkraut) are among the most popular. Fermenting your own vegetables may seem intimidating, but it is not difficult once you have the basic method down. The nine tips that follow can help you get started:

1. Use Organic Ingredients

Starting out with fresh, toxin-free food will ensure a better outcome. If you don’t grow your own, a local organic farmer may sell cabbage, cucumbers, and other veggies by the case if you’re thinking of making a large batch.

2. Wash Your Veggies and Prepare Them Properly

Wash your vegetables thoroughly under cold running water. You want to remove bacteria, enzymes, and other debris from the veggies, as remnants could affect the outcome of your fermentation.

Next you’ll want to decide whether to grate, slice, or chop the veggies, or simply leave them whole. The decision is up to you and depends mostly on what you plan to do with the finished veggies (will you be using them as a condiment, a side dish, or as an appetizer?).

However, one “rule” is to keep the size of the veggies consistent within each batch, as the size and shape will impact the speed of fermentation. Grated veggies will have the texture of relish when finished (and may not need an added brine). Chopped veggies will take longer to ferment and usually require brine, while cucumbers, radishes, green beans, and Brussels sprouts may be left whole.

3. Try Pint and Quart Jars

There’s no need to spend large amounts of money on containers. The material they’re made of is important however. You do NOT want to use plastic, which may leach chemicals into your food, or metal, as salts can corrode the metal. Large, glass Mason jars with self-sealing lids make perfect fermentation containers, and they are a good size for most families. Make sure they are the wide-mouthed variety, as you’ll need to get your hand or a tool down into the jar for tightly packing the veggies.

4. Try a Stone Crock

If you want to make larger batches, try a stone crock. You can ferment about five pounds of vegetables in a one-gallon container, so a five-pound crock will hold about a five-gallon batch.

5. Prepare the Brine

Most fermented vegetables will need to be covered with brine. While you can do wild fermentation (allowing whatever is naturally on the vegetable to take hold), this method is more time consuming, and the end product is less certain. Instead, try one of the following brine fermentation methods:

Salt – Salt suppresses the growth of undesirable bacteria while allow salt-tolerant Lactobacilli strains to flourish. Salt will also lead to a crisper texture, since salt hardens the pectins in the vegetables. There are actually quite a few compelling reasons for adding a small amount of natural, unprocessed salt — such as Himalayan salt — to your vegetables. For example, salt:

  • Strengthens the ferment’s ability to eliminate any potential pathogenic bacteria present
  • Adds to the flavor
  • Acts as a natural preservative, which may be necessary if you’re making large batches that need to last for a larger portion of the year
  • Slows the enzymatic digestion of the vegetables, leaving them crunchier
  • Inhibits surface molds

Salt-Free Brine – If you prefer to make your vegetables without salt, try celery juice instead. I recommend using a starter culture dissolved in celery juice.

Starter Culture – Starter cultures may be used on their own or in addition to salt, and they can provide additional benefits. For instance, I recommend using a starter culture specifically designed to optimize vitamin K2. My research team found we could get 400 to 500 mcgs of vitamin K2 in a two-ounce serving of fermented vegetables using a starter culture, which is a clinically therapeutic dose. The water used for your brine is also important. Use water that is filtered to be free of contaminants, chlorine, and fluoride.

6. Let Your Veggies “Ripen”

Once you’ve packed your veggies for fermentation, they’ll need to “ripen” for a week or more for the flavor to develop. You’ll need to weigh the vegetables down to keep them submerged below the brine.

7. Move the Veggies to Cold Storage

When the vegetables are ready, you should move them to the refrigerator. How do you know when they’re “done”? First, you might notice bubbles throughout the jar, which is a good sign. Next, there should be a pleasant sour aroma. If you notice a rotten or spoiled odor, toss the veggies, wash the container, and try again. Ideally, test the vegetables daily until you reach the desired flavor and texture. They should have a tangy, sour flavor when they’re done fermenting, but you can let them ferment an extra day or two depending on your preference.

8. Label Them

You’ll quickly forget when you made which batch and what’s inside your jars. A label can include the ingredients, the date made and even how many days you left it to ferment (the latter will help you in perfecting the “perfect” recipe).

9. Take a Local Class

Many communities host pickling or preserving classes to help you learn this traditional method of food preservation. So even if you don’t have a recipe passed down from your grandmother, you can still learn how to make fermented foods. Many groups even get together to make large batches at a time.



Top 7 Nutrient-Dense Foods That Make Calorie Counting Obsolete


Top 7 Nutrient-Dense Foods That Make Calorie Counting Obsolete

By Elaine Charles, part 2 in my series on health eating

If you’re seeking to lose excess weight, counting calories is usually less than helpful. In fact, focusing on calories could easily divert you from the real answer, which lies in optimizing your nutrition.

We’ve long advocated against counting calories. Even if you manage to shed a few pounds, you’re not going to get healthier by eating fewer cookies than you did before.

In short, if you really want to lose weight and improve your health, then you must replace empty calories and denatured foods with nutrient-rich ones.

Nutritional Value Beats Calorie Count

Fortunately, even conventional health experts are now starting to catch on, and rather than looking at calories, they suggest looking at the nutritional value of the foods you eat.

As reported by Medical Daily:

“An editorial published in Open Heart suggests the outdated practice of counting calories has to go…

‘Shifting the focus away from calories and emphasizing a dietary pattern that focuses on food quality rather than quantity will help to rapidly reduce obesity, related diseases, and cardiovascular risk,’ the research team said in a statement.

Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

According to the calorie myth, in order to lose weight all you need to do is follow the equation of “eat less, move more.” But this simply isn’t true.

Zoe Harcombe’s book, “The Obesity Epidemic”, is one of the most comprehensive documents that exposes the flaws of this myth.

The Obesity Epidemic – Public Lecture at Cardiff Metropolitan University

Research by Dr. Robert Lustig has also shredded this dogmatic belief, showing that not even calories from different kinds of sugar are treated identically by your body.

According to Dr. Lustig, fructose is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.” What this means is that identical calorie counts from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, will cause entirely different metabolic effects.

Part of the problem is a fundamental error in the understanding of the law of thermodynamics. Energy is actually used up in making nutrients available in your body.

Your body also self-regulates the amount of activity you engage in, based on the available energy. If your energy stores are low, you’ll feel lethargic and unlikely to exercise, even if you know you “should.”

“Results of the Action for Health in Diabetes study have shown that type 2 diabetes patients who adopt a lower calorie diet on top of increased physical activity have the same risk for death caused by a heart condition, even if the diet resulted in substantial weight loss.

The research team suggests that simple dietary changes that focus on macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) and sugar consumption rather than calorie counting can efficiently improve health outcomes.”

Seven of the Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet

You can only eat so much in a day, and if you consider your stomach to be “prime real estate,” you’d be wise to consider the nutritional value of the foods you’re putting in it. Some foods pack far more nutrients into a smaller package than others.

For example, while many equate eating salad with optimizing their diet, this is not necessarily true, depending on what’s in your salad. If lettuce and cucumbers make up the majority of that bulk, you’re getting plenty of water, yes, but few valuable nutrients.

Authority Nutrition lists 11 foods densely packed with valuable nutrients. Here are my own top seven picks.

  1. Wild-caught Alaskian Salmon:
    1. When it comes to fish, two things to take into account are 1) healthy fat content, and 2) contamination levels.
    2. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is likely one of the best seafood options as it’s high in omega-3 fat (about 2.8 grams per 100 gram serving) and low in contaminants.
    3. About 95 percent of your cells’ membranes are made of fat, and without fats such as omega-3, your cells cannot function properly.
    4. Since wild salmon eat what nature programmed them to eat, they have a more complete nutritional profile with valuable micronutrients, fats, minerals (including magnesium, potassium, and selenium), vitamins (including all the B-vitamins), and antioxidants like astaxanthin.
    5. Avoid farmed salmon, as they’re fed an artificial diet consisting of grain products like corn and soy, chicken- and feather meal, artificial coloring, and synthetic astaxanthin — all of which negatively affects the nutritional profile of farmed salmon.
  2. Bone broth:
    1. Bone broth is exceptionally healing for your gut, and contains a number of valuable nutrients that many Americans lack, in a form your body can easily absorb and use.
    2. This includes but is not limited to: calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals; silicon and other trace minerals; glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; components of collagen and cartilage; components of bone and bone marrow; and the “conditionally essential” amino acids proline, glycine, and glutamine (which have anti-inflammatory effects).
  3. Kale:
    1. In terms of nutritional density, kale is virtually unparalleled among green leafy vegetables.
    2. Interestingly, it has a 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio – an exceptionally high amount of protein for any vegetable.
    3. Like beef, it also contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body, plus nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18.
    4. In addition, kale contains omega-3s in a beneficial ratio to omega-6, and is exceptionally rich in vitamins A, C, and K1.
    5. It’s also loaded with vision-preserving lutein and zeaxanthin at over 26 mg combined, per serving.
    6. Add to this an impressive list of minerals as well, including more calcium per gram than whole milk, and in a more bioavailable form. Other bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
  4. Raw garlic and aged black pepper:
    1. Garlic contains a range of phytocompounds that synergistically produce a wide variety of responses in your body, including reducing inflammation and boosting immune function. It’s been shown to successfully combat even antibiotic-resistant infections.
    2. Rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, garlic is beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.
    3. Beyond that, studies have demonstrated garlic’s positive effects for more than 150 different diseases, including cancer.
  5. Sprouts:
    1. A wide variety of seeds can be sprouted, which maximizes their nutritional value.
  6. Organic eggs:
    1. Overall, eggs are one of Nature’s most perfect foods, loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals. Just make sure they come from organic pastured hens.
    2. Egg yolks are a rich source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin: two powerful prevention elements of age-related macular degeneration; the most common cause of blindness, and the choline in eggs is important for brain health.
    3. Proteins in cooked eggs are also converted by gastrointestinal enzymes producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure).
  7. Liver:
    1. Liver from grass-fed animals is a superfood of the animal kingdom, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
    2. For example, liver is nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A (retinol), and contains an abundant, highly usable form of iron.
    3. It’s also one of the richest sources of copper and folic acid.
    4. Three ounces of beef liver contains almost three times as much choline as one egg, and it also contains a mysterious “anti-fatigue factor,” making it a favorite among athletes.

Shopping Wisely to Maximize Your Food Budget

Most people use standard measures of quantity when comparing prices, but a wiser strategy might be to focus on nutrient content instead. For example, conventional USDA prime beef may be cheaper than organic grass-fed beef pound for pound, but when you take nutritional factors into account, the latter provides far better value for your money.

“The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber, and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my market. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes, or just about any frozen vegetable, which would make for a much more nutritious side dish…”

Here, I would add that if you really like salad, there are simple and very cost-effective ways to dramatically boost its nutrient content. For example, adding a handful of sprouts, an organic egg, some raw nuts or seeds, with a drizzling of virgin olive oil on top in lieu of salad dressing would turn your nutritionally lackluster salad into a more nutrient-dense meal without adding much expense.

Here are tips for squeezing the most nutrient rich food from your dollar:

  1. Buy more of the inexpensive varieties of organic vegetables. Less pricey produce include carrots, onions, celery, garlic, kale, chard, zucchini, cabbage, and broccoli — all of which contain valuable nutrients at a reasonable price, even when organic.
  2. Make broth and say yes to liver. The nutrient value of both have already been addressed above, and in terms of cost, broth and liver are among the least expensive foods you’ll find.
  3. Avoid food waste. Buy only what you know you’ll eat before the food goes bad. Alternatively, turn leftover veggies, meats, and other scraps into soup. Chicken carcasses can be boiled down into nourishing broth.
  4. Prepare and cook foods to maximize nutritional value. Knowing how a food is affected by the way it’s prepared or cooked can go a long way toward maximizing your nutrition. For example, valuable nutrients in eggs are destroyed through cooking, so eating your eggs as close to raw or as lightly cooked as possible will optimize their nutritional potential. As mentioned earlier, grains and seeds gain a significant boost in nutrients when sprouted, and vegetables in general get a nutritional boost when fermented, as this makes them a great source of probiotics. If fermented using a specific starter culture, they can also provide ample amounts of vitamin K2.
  5. Buy local pastured eggs. Eggs from truly organic, free-range chickens not only have higher nutrient content than commercially raised eggs, they’re also far less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. When buying local, you’re also getting fresher eggs, as they’ve not been shipped across the country.
  6. Embrace traditional home cooking, and avoid buying prepackaged foods. This means cooking from scratch, using whole unadulterated ingredients, so you know exactly what’s in your meal.

Healthy Eating Tips You Can Use All Year Long


It is time to create your New Years Resolutions and weight loss always come up. You will be bombarded with weight loss ideas, products and programs.

I believe in going to the core. you don’t need to count calories, take pills or adhere to rigorous programs, just get back to healthy eating as a lifestyle. You can let your body guide you, selecting the fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, and raw milk cheeses that appeal to you most.

You might be surprised at how easy and fast it is to prepare a phenomenally healthy meal or snack.

Here are fundamental guidelines for a healthy eating lifestyle: Try one or try them all, but if you feeling yourself getting overwhelmed, slow down. Master one tip at a time and only then move on to the next. 

Go gluten free. Eating wheat and gluten triggers an immune and intestinal response so give your body a break. Go as many days as you can without any grains at all.

Change the timing of your meals and fast for 15 hours. The goal is to condense your eating into a shorter period of time, which leaves your body time for fasting each day. By eating breakfast and a late lunch, then skipping dinner, you can easily fast for 15 hours a day or so. Depending on your schedule, you may prefer to skip breakfast and eat lunch and dinner instead. The benefits of fasting are numerous and check out this TED video why fasting bolsters brain power.

 Swap out soda and other sweetened beverages for primarily water and occasionally unsweetened tea and/or organic black coffee.

Skip unhealthy fats (synthetic trans fats, vegetable oils) and indulge in healthy fats like those from butter, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, and nuts. I use coconut oil for all my baking. Use olive and avocado for sauces and dressings.

Choose meat that’s pastured (grass-fed) and organic; avoid processed or CAFO meats.

When eating dairy or eggs, choose organic, free range and pastured raw versions.

Make your own fermented vegetables and enjoy them regularly.

Upgrade your baking by replacing wheat flour with coconut flour, margarine with butter, sugar with pureed fruits and veggies, and vegetable oil with coconut oil.

Eliminate processed foods from your meals (the less processed foods, the better).

Cook your own meals at home, ideally from scratch (including growing as much of your own food as possible).

Avoid artificial additives; if a food contains artificial sweeteners, artificial colors, or artificial flavors, skip it.

Eat slowly and mindfully, and be sure to chew each bite thoroughly.

Bonn appetite!





Effective Immune Support for Cold and Flu Season Support

This is the season where all of us begin looking for highly effective support for cold and flu season. To effectively resolve acute issues before they move deeper requires they we be prepared ahead of time and have several remedies in our home apothecary.

I personally love the combination of Sovereign Silver, Immuno-DMG from DaVinci Labs, and UNDA Muco Coccinum.

In essence, the approach is to reduce the microbial load, support the modulation of the immune system and provide homeopathic stimulation and drainage support.

Many of you have already experienced the miraculous results for controlling microbial overgrowth year round with Sovereign Silver, the most advanced speciation of silver available today. Sovereign Silver is always in brown glass bottles as any silver must be to prevent leaching of plastic materials.

Effectiveness with silver requires proper dosing and is time and delivery dependent as an immune support remedy. Sovereign Silver has a necessarily wide variety of delivery systems for reducing microbial overgrowth.

For microbes that enter into the sinuses, Sovereign Silver comes in a convenient vertical 2oz. sinus spray bottle. Oral application in cases of sore throats, to reduce mouth bacteria, and resolving laryngitis the horizontal delivery system via the Fine Mist Spray 2 oz. bottle is recommended.

Oral ingestion via teaspoon or tablespoon dispensed from 4, 8, 16, and 32oz. bottles is recommended by holding in the mouth for at least 30 to 45 seconds for maximum lymph saturation. Dosing often is required in acute situations.

For eye and ear applications Sovereign Silver comes in a convenient 2 oz. dropper bottle.

For upper respiratory track infections Anova Health offers the Omron CE-130 Nebulizer to nebulize Sovereign Silver directly out of the bottle with no dilution. The amount used would be 1/2 to 1 tsp. for a 20-30 minute breathing session.

We include with every order of an Sovereign Silver product a free patient guide and dosing brochure. For questions please feel free to call us at 864-408-8320.

Our Favorite Leaky Gut Trio

Here are some powerful technologies for leaky gut that work extremely well together.

In the past two months we have attended two conferences including the Gut Brain and Microbiome conferences in Florida. While much information on various aspects of complex interactions were presented there were few innovative or outstanding products or protocols that excite me as much as the ones I will discuss here.

Check out some of our favorite technologies:

1. Pharmax HLC or Genestra HMF human microflora strains
2. Anova Health MBM Proven Prebiotic Formulation
3. Anova Health AvinoCort for core SIgA support

There is overwhelming evidence that 4 human human strain floras have the ability to reinoculate the upper intestinal track where others cannot. Chosen from over 600 human strains after years of research this consortium 4 found products from Pharmax and sister company Genestra. They have both proven themselves in several long term trials unrivaled by any other probiotic strains. HLC and HMF probiotics come in various strengths based on need. Pharmax HLC Replenish is my favorite for one to two week intensive small intestine reinoculation

Human strain probiotics are the safest in the industry. Please be aware that many of the new “spore” based probiotics while hardly have not been proven SAFE in many instances and can actually be dangerous to certain individuals.  There have been 9 deaths from septicemia form spore based organisms. Human strains and many food derived probiotics have a track record for safety.

One of the major reasons people have difficulty maintaining a health intestinal mucosa is stress. Prolonged stress leads to the suppression of Secretory or (SIgA) and the protection SIgA provides from pathogens.

Anova Health AvinoCort has been proven to reduce many aspects of stress in a number of ways. Because of the many factors in AvinoCort, about 70% of individuals  tend to report better sleep, more stamina, improved mood levels and more mental clarity. Individuals report varying degrees of these felt benefits within 2-5 days. Blood tests confirm better adrenal functions and metabolic syndrome markers in about 60 days in the 30% of individuals who don’t necessarily feel AvinoCort’s wow factor.

Anova Health MBM is a novel and highly effective prebiotic without the downside of sugar/starch based inulin. MBM has proven to repair leaky gut and elongate intestinal villi in pathology photographs. No other prebiotic has been able to prove this.

Thanks to years of research and development of the proprietary enzymatic extraction technology, MBM is also free of fructans, gluten, and gliadin and contains a concentration of biologically active compounds such as benzoquinones and a rich amino-acid profile. The synergistic effect of these biologically active compounds with vitamins and trace elements found in Anova Health MBM help nourish and sustain the growth and activity of over 300 species of beneficial bacteria in the gastro-intestinal microflora.

For additional information and questions please feel free to call our office at 864-408-8320.